Clearing Statistics

Approvals under Part V, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s (DWER) strategic plan outlines our commitment to providing information to meet stakeholder needs and ensuring a credible information base to which all sectors may contribute and share. We recognise the need for greater transparency and accessibility of information relating to native vegetation and changes in vegetation extent. This is the first step in providing comprehensive, publicly-accessible Western Australian native vegetation data.

This page displays data relating to the clearing of native vegetation under the authority of a clearing permits issued under Part V, Division 2 of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act). The information below does not include clearing authorised through Part IV of the EP Act or any other statutory process. It also does not include clearing undertaken in accordance with exemptions listed in Schedule 6 of the EP Act and the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 (Clearing Regulations). DWER acknowledges that this represents only part of the overall picture for native vegetation in WA, and is committed to expanding and improving the content as additional data becomes available.

The charts below show the number of hectares approved or refused over the past 10 years as a result of decisions on clearing permit applications. These data include permit applications assessed by both the DWER and the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), as well as their predecessor agencies. The data does not reflect actual clearing undertaken as this can differ from the amounts authorised through a clearing permit.

For further information or to provide feedback for improvements to this webpage, please contact us via info@dwer.wa.gov.au . This information can be provided in alternative formats on request.

Working the charts

HOW TO

 

1. Areas approved or refused for clearing – by agency

This chart shows the amount of clearing (in hectares) approved or not approved through clearing permit applications since the commencement of the EP Act clearing provisions in 2004. The data can be broken down into clearing permit applications assessed by each agancy (DWER or DMIRS).

2. Areas approved and refused for clearing - by industry group

This chart breaks the total clearing approved/refused figures in chart 1 above into more detailed industry groupings. The industries shown are defined by the table below:

Agriculture Horticulture Forestry Clearing for the purposes of timber harvesting, plantation, horticulture, grazing and pasture, cropping, drainage, pastoral diversification (incl. irrigated agriculture) and aquaculture. Includes associated activities such as fence-line maintenance and clearing for fire mitigation purposes (e.g. fire breaks, fire hazard reduction) where the applicant is not a local government authority or resources company.
Basic raw materials Clearing for the purposes of extractive industry (e.g. sand and gravel extraction). Excluding clearing done by local government authorities for basic raw material extraction (listed under local government)
Local government Clearing by local government authorities. This could include purposes such as road construction and maintenance, basic raw material extraction, building or structures and other infrastructure
State development Clearing for purposes of mineral production, mineral exploration, petroleum production, petroleum exploration and other state development (including state agreements).
Utilities Clearing by utilities including Water Corporation, Western Power, Horizon Power, Main Roads WA, Verve Energy, Telstra, Alinta Energy, Westnet Rail and the Public Transport Authority. This could include purposes such as infrastructure construction and maintenance, railway construction, road construction and maintenance. Also includes clearing by port authorities.
Other development Other development means all other purposes not listed above, including buildings or structures, industrial, landscaping.

3. Areas approved for clearing - by land division

This chart shows the total clearing approved figures from chart 1, divided between the land divisions in which the clearing is approved to occur.

4. Areas approved for clearing - by land use zone

This chart shows the number of hectares approved for clearing within the intensive and extensive land use zones of Western Australia. The intensive land use zone is broadly defined as the south-west of the state which has experienced higher levels of historical clearing.

5. Areas approved for clearing - by IBRA bioregion

This chart shows the total clearing approved figures from chart 1, divided between the Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia (IBRA) regions in which the clearing is approved to occur.

6. Areas approved for clearing - by local government area

This chart shows the total clearing approved figures from chart 1, divided between the local government jurisdictions in which the clearing is approved to occur.

Note: this is clearing which is approved to occur within a local government boundary, and is not limited to clearing undertaken by local government authorities.

7. Areas approved for clearing – by percentage vegetation remaining within local government jurisdiction

This chart shows the amount of clearing approved (in hectares) each year within areas with varying degrees of historical clearing, shown as a percentage of vegetation remaining compared with pre-European vegetation extents (calculated with reference to local government boundaries).”

Note: Remaining vegetation percentages are based on 2017 levels so some inaccuracies are likely when comparing with clearing approvals dating back to 2004. The remnant vegetation data is compiled from a range of sources and should be considered a broad estimate of vegetation remaining within an area.

8. Remaining vegetation extent

The map below displays the extent of mapped native vegetation across Western Australia. The map has four layers available for display:

  • Pre-European vegetation remaining within a local government authority areas. To view this data, turn on the layer in the left hand panel and select on the map a local government area. A pop-up box will provide the total area of the local government boundary (in hectares) and the percentage of mapped vegetation remaining compared with vegetation extents prior to European settlement.
  • Pre-European vegetation remaining by vegetation type (Beard vegetation association), displays data on the remaining percentage of mapped vegetation associations. To view this data, turn on the layer in the left hand panel and select on the map an area coloured in green (representing a mapped vegetation association). A pop-up box will display the vegetation type number and name, as well as its remaining extent (in hectares) and percentage of this vegetation type which remains compared with its extent prior to European settlement.
  • Environmentally sensitive areas – these are mapped occurrences of environmentally sensitive areas (ESA) as defined in the Environmental Protection (Environmentally Sensitive Areas) Notice 2005. The presence of an ESA does not necessarily mean that an area has greater environmental value, but provides an indication that the exemptions from the requirement for a clearing permit contained in the Environmental Protection (Clearing of Native Vegetation) Regulations 2004 may not apply. To view this layer, turn it on at the left hand panel.
  • Mapped native vegetation coverage – to view this layer, turn it on at the left hand panel.

Disclaimer: The data presented on this page relating to clearing permit applications is sourced from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation’s Clearing Permit System (CPS). Inconsistencies are known to exist between this data and other publically reported information. These inconsistencies may be a result of a one or more of the following: limitations and errors within CPS, differences in reporting format and variations in methods of extracting and cleansing the data. Areas reported as approved or refused for clearing do not include areas authorised or not authorised through state-wide purpose permits. The information on this page is provided by DWER in good faith to show general trends in decisions on clearing permit applications.