Application process for unzoned clearing of native vegetation

The Planning Act 1999 requires all applications to clear native vegetation to be publicly exhibited for 28 days.

The application is advertised in a local newspaper and available on the Planning Proposals on Exhibition website.

The applicant must display a pink sign at the property advertising the development. The application is circulated to NT Government service authorities and to the local municipality who assess for compliance with NT Legislation. A site inspection may also be conducted.

When the 28 day exhibition period finishes, public submissions and service authority comments are available. These provide an outline on where the application may be inconsistent with legislation, the Planning Scheme or Land clearing guidelines PDF (2.3 MB), and details on whether enough information has been provided to enable proper consideration, and general advice about the proposal.

The applicant may respond to comments to support their application. A report is prepared for the consent authority outlining all information submitted and any comments made.

For unzoned applications, the report is reviewed by the Native Vegetation Assessment Panel that makes final recommendations to the consent authority.

The panel is made up of experienced natural resource managers from the:

  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR);
  • Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (DIPL); and
  • Department of Primary Industry and Resources.

The consent authority on unzoned land is the delegate of the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics (the Chief Executive and the Executive Director, Rangelands Division of the DENR).

For zoned land, determinations are made by the Development Consent Authority or the Minister for Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics.

Matters to be taken into account by the consent authority are outlined in sections 51 and 52 of the Planning Act 1999. This includes NT Planning Scheme Clauses 3.2(5) and 3.2(6).

The consent authority, in determining an application, may:

  • approve;
  • alter and approve; or
  • refuse a proposed development.

Approvals may be conditional.

Alterations are generally small changes based on recommendations made to the applicant and consent authority.

Determinations to alter and approve or refuse an application are accompanied with detailed reasons for the determination.

Where information gaps or concerns with the application cannot be addressed with minor alterations, consideration of the application can be deferred under section 46(4)(b) of the Planning Act 1999, and the applicant is to provide additional information considered necessary to enable proper consideration.

The applicant will be notified in writing of a decision under section 46(5) of the Planning Act 1999, and subject to section 46(6) of the Act, the applicant will have 30 days to provide the required information.

Subject to section 46(7) of the Planning Act 1999, the applicant can request additional time to provide the required information, if the request is made prior to the expiry of the period referenced in section 46(6) of the Planning Act 1999.

Applicants can also appeal to the NT Civil and Administrative Tribunal if:

  • they disagree with a determination or conditions applied to a permit; or
  • there has been no notification of approval, refusal or deferral within 12 weeks from registration.

Last updated: 05 August 2020

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