Clearing of native vegetation on pastoral land

You must have consent to clear native vegetation on pastoral land in the Northern Territory (NT).

Applications for pastoral land clearing are determined by the Pastoral Land Board under the Pastoral Land Act 1992.

Before you apply

Before you apply, you must read the NT pastoral land clearing (PLC) guidelines DOCX (126.4 KB).

You must also read the NT planning scheme land clearing guidelines PDF (3.3 MB) if you submit a standard application.

Read below for more information.

Types of applications

There are different types of pastoral land clearing applications. Each application type is based on the level of environmental complexity. It also takes into account the:

  • size of the proposed clearing and
  • technical criteria the application must meet.

Before you apply, you should contact the Vegetation Assessment Unit (VAU) who can assist you.

Application typeMaximum area of application (ha)Duration of assessment process*Irrigation optionsAssessment criteriaApplication
SimplifiedLess than 1,000 ha6 weeks No irrigationSchedule one in the PLC guidelinesSimplified form DOCX (787.1 KB)
StandardNot applicable - read below for more information6 monthsIrrigation or no irrigationPLC guidelinesStandard form DOCX (805.7 KB)

*Timeframes don't apply to applications referred under the Environment Protection Act 2019.

If you need to submit a simplified application, you should read the simplified pastoral land clearing applications policy DOCX (693.5 KB).

While there is currently no size restriction for a standard application, if your proposal exceeds 5,000 hectares, it will be referred to the NT Environment Protection Authority.

Vary an existing permit

To vary an existing permit, fill in the application to vary a PLC permit DOCX (791.6 KB).

Other applications

If your application is for non-pastoral use (NPU) or an irrigated land use, you must also apply for:

If your proposal requires a number of different environmental approvals, read the timeframes for WEL, PLC and NPU flowchart PDF (3.3 MB). You can also contact the Development Coordination Branch.

How to apply

To apply for a permit, follow these steps:

Step 1. Discuss your proposal with the Vegetation Assessment Unit (VAU).

Step 2. Prepare a land type map - this will require a field survey.

Step 3. Prepare a land capability assessment or a land suitability assessment.

Step 4. Prepare the proposed clearing plan and spatial data.

Step 5. Fill in the relevant application.

Step 6. Fill in the lessee authorisation form DOCX (758.0 KB).

Step 7. Prepare any other supporting information.

Step 8. Submit your application, attachments and spatial data through the Development Applications Online website.

Step 9. Pay the fee and forward confirmation of payment to the VAU.

More information

Read more about soil, land and vegetation mapping or go to the NR Maps website.


For more information, contact the Vegetation Assessment Unit by calling 08 8999 4454 or emailing

Last updated: 16 July 2021

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