Vegetation both native and planted are one of the principle reasons why we love the Somerset region and Council encourages the retention of native vegetation and planting of trees for all the benefits that trees bring.
Local Government Vegetation Clearing
Vegetation clearing is an assessable development in the Somerset region (effective 1 March 2016), with the introduction of the Somerset Region Planning Scheme (SRPS). Council endorsed this measure to have increased influence on the vegetation management activities in Somerset, as the extent and nature of vegetation is critical to maintaining the regions scenic appeal, ecological function, and the livability and identity of the Somerset community.
Council also acknowledges that Somerset is a largely rural community, and as such incidental clearing can be required from time to time in support of safety, rural production and farm infrastructure. As such, there are exemptions in the planning scheme and associated legislation for activities considered to be minor operational works, as defined by the SRPS. Clearing which is minor operational works does not require Council approval – for more information, refer to the Vegetation Clearing under the Planning Scheme factsheet.
If you intend to claim an exemption it is recommended that you notify Council of your intentions to clear and property description. You can do this by phoning (07) 5424 4000 or emailing your enquiry to email@example.com. This notification process also will allow you to confirm that the vegetation management activities proposed are consistent with the exemption definitions.
Subject to budget allocations and water restrictions Somerset Regional Council provides an annual free tree program for residents in our region.
National Tree Day
Every year, Council supports the National Tree Day campaign in late July, through providing free plants to schools in our region. Some local schools are also involved in National Tree Day Lockyer.
National Register of Big Trees
In 2012 Council ran a competition to identify our largest trees. To check out whether there is champion tree near you or if you've got what you think might be a potential champion check out the National Register of Big Trees.
Council has a number of programs to assist landholders in the management of weeds and pest plants across our region.