Clearing of native vegetation is one of the major causes of biodiversity loss in Western Australia. It also contributes to other environmental problems, such as salinity, erosion and invasive species.

Clearing of native vegetation in WA is primarily regulated under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (“the EP Act”). The Department of Environment and Conservation (“DEC”) is the main government agency involved in regulating clearing, although the Department of Mines and Petroleum (“DMP”) deals with most clearing for mineral and petroleum activities.

This fact sheet explains the laws relating to clearing of native vegetation under the EP Act, including the permit system, clearing exemptions, and what to do if you suspect that unlawful clearing is occuring.

Other laws also regulate aspects of native vegetation clearing. For information on the environmental impact assessment processes for developments which may involve clearing, see Fact Sheet: Environmental Impact Assessment in WA and Fact Sheet: Commonwealth Environmental Impact Assessment. For information on WA and Commonwealth biodiversity laws, see Fact Sheet: Biodiversity Conservation WA and Fact Sheet: Biodiversity Conservation under Commonwealth Law.