Vegetation Protection Orders (VPO’s) in Brisbane- The Lowdown

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Tree and Vegetation Protection is Key

Vegetation Protection Orders (VPO’s) are a means to protecting vital vegetation and significant trees within a certain area.  Vegetation is a vital component of the eco system and it has many important roles to play for humans, wildlife and the environment. Vegetation refers to a wide range of plants including trees.  There are many reasons why maintaining vegetation is so imperative:

Environmental benefits of Trees and Plants

  • Providing and protecting habitat and food sources for plants and animals.
  • Improving air quality and providing shade.
  • Noise reduction.
  • Cleaner water.
  • Flood control.

Social and Economic Benefits of Trees and Plants

  • Reduces crime rates.
  • Increases property value.
  • Encourages better mental health.
  • Create job opportunities.

VPOs Brisbane


Councils’ Role in Protecting Vegetation.

It is important that significant vegetation is protected and local councils are usually charged with protecting it.  Each council has its own policies surrounding Vegetation Protection Orders and the ins and outs of these policies will be found on the council’s website.  Brisbane City Council adheres to the Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL) and its aim is to ‘deliver a balance between protecting the city’s environment and people, property and lifestyle.’

What is a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO)?

A VPO is simply an order written in law designed to protect significant vegetation from being destroyed in areas of special significance, natural beauty, interest and importance.

Why do we need Vegetation Protection Orders (VPO’s)?

  • A VPO protects areas of significant vegetation.
  • Ensures that there is a minimum loss of vegetation due to development.
  • Preserves existing trees and vegetation.
  • Maintains and enhances habitat and habitat corridors for indigenous fauna.
  • Encourages regeneration of native fauna.

How do you find out if a tree on your Property has a Vegetation Protection Order (VPO)?

You can contact your local council to find out whether there is a VPO on any vegetation on your land. If you live within the Brisbane area you can phone Brisbane City Council directly on 0734038888.  A reputable tree company such as Heritage Tree Care will have a good idea whether there might be a VPO by the tree’s location, size and significance and can check with the council on your behalf before any works commence.


Property and trees storm

What happens if there is a VPO on your Tree and it needs a Prune?

If there is a VPO on vegetation on your property, you will need to gain permission from the council via a permit to be allowed to perform any work. There are 3 types of permit- short-term work, long-term work and council street trees and you will find the online information and a handy online form to apply for the correct permit here

What Happens if You Don’t Get a Permit?

If you do work on protected Vegetation without obtaining a permit, you will likely be prosecuted, have to rectify any damage to the protected vegetation and receive a hefty fine from your local council.

Are there any Permit Exemptions?

According to Natural Assets Local Law 2003 (NALL), there are some exemptions to needing to apply for a permit, mainly only to protected vegetation that lies within your property boundaries.  The exemption does not apply to significant landscape trees which are located on your property and a permit must always be requested.

In Conclusion

The rules and regulations around Vegetation Protection Orders are quite comprehensive and can be complicated.  It is always better to speak to a qualified Arborist from a professional tree company, or talk to your local council directly before beginning any work on trees or vegetation so they can investigate your circumstances, find out if a permit is required and talk you through the process.

Professional Tree Care for You!

If you have any questions or concerns about your trees and obtaining a VPO, Heritage Tree Care are happy to provide an honest and reliable free quote. Call Heritage Tree Care on 0737155444 and our Level 5 Consulting Arborist will be happy to discuss you