In Victoria, trees play a vital role in maintaining the health and balance of the ecosystem. Unfortunately, illegal tree removal has become a growing concern in recent years, and people who remove trees without permission from the relevant authorities can face fines or penalties.
The Victorian government has implemented fines for those who engage in unauthorized tree removal. If a person or business is found to have cut down a protected tree without permission, they can be fined up to $168,000 for individuals and $840,000 for corporations.
These fines are in place to deter individuals and businesses from removing trees without permission and to hold them accountable for any damage caused to the environment.
Yes. In Victoria, fines for cutting down trees without authorization vary depending on the severity of the offense. The fines for cutting down trees without permission can be levied under different laws and regulations as seen below.
Here are some fines for cutting down trees in Victoria
The fines for cutting down trees in Victoria, Australia vary depending on the severity of the offence and the applicable laws and regulations. Here is a general list of the fines for cutting down trees without authorization:
Under the Planning and Environment Act 1987:
- Up to $9,514.20 for unauthorized tree removal in a residential zone.
- Up to $19,028.40 for unauthorized tree removal in a non-residential zone.
Under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994:
- Up to $8,261.20 for cutting down a tree that protects a waterway.
- Up to $16,522.40 for cutting down a tree that protects a waterway with a high ecological value.
Under the Wildlife Act 1975:
- Up to $8,261.20 for destroying a tree that provides habitat for wildlife.
- Up to $16,522.40 for destroying a tree that provides habitat for wildlife listed as threatened or rare.
It’s important to note that fines can vary depending on the size, location, and ecological value of the tree. Repeat offenders may also face higher fines, and in some cases, imprisonment. Additionally, the government may also require individuals or businesses to replant trees at their cost.
What trees can be cut down without permission?
In Victoria, there are regulations and requirements in place to protect trees and vegetation, and it is illegal to cut down trees without permission. However, there are certain circumstances where tree removal may be allowed without permission.
It is important to document the reasons for removal and take appropriate safety precautions. Here are trees that can be cut without permission in Victoria:
- Trees that are dead, dying, or dangerous pose an immediate threat to people or property.
- Trees that are less than 3 meters in height and have a trunk diameter of less than 100mm at a point 1.3 meters above the ground.
- Trees that are considered weed species by the local council.
- Trees that are located on land zoned for commercial or industrial use may be removed without permission in some circumstances.
Note; These exemptions vary depending on the local council, so it is recommended to check before removing any trees. It is also recommended to consult with a qualified arborist or tree specialist to ensure that trees are removed safely and per all applicable regulations.
Trees within 3 metres of the house
In Victoria, it is recommended that trees within 3 meters of a house should be regularly inspected and pruned as necessary to ensure that they do not pose a risk to the house or its occupants.
This is because trees within 3m of a house are fire hazards in the event of a wildfire. The type and size of the tree, as well as its proximity to the house, will determine the level of risk it poses.
Trees with large or overhanging branches, shallow roots, or signs of disease or damage may be more likely to cause damage or fall during extreme weather events such as storms or high winds.
How to get permission to cut down a tree in Victoria
In Victoria, if you want to remove a tree on your property, you may need to obtain permission from your local council. The steps to obtain permission to cut down a tree in Victoria typically involve the following:
Check the local regulations
The first step is to check with your local council to determine the regulations and guidelines for tree removal in your area. This information can usually be found on the council’s website or by contacting their customer service.
Determine the type of application required
Depending on the size, location, and species of the tree, you may need to submit a Tree Removal Application or a Planning Permit Application. You will need to provide details about the tree such as its location, size, health, and the reason for wanting to remove it.
Submit your application
You will need to submit your application, along with any supporting documentation and fees, to your local council. The application will be reviewed by council officers to determine whether the tree can be removed.
Wait for a decision
The council will typically review the application and decide within a certain timeframe. If the application is approved, you will receive a permit or approval letter that outlines any conditions or requirements for tree removal.
Proceed with the tree removal
If your application is approved, you can proceed with the tree removal following any conditions or requirements outlined in the permit or approval letter.
It is important to note that the process and requirements for obtaining permission to cut down a tree can vary depending on the local council. It is always recommended to check with your local council and seek professional advice from a qualified arborist or tree specialist before removing any trees on your property.