Tree Access

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Trees and the Law

Protecting trees and natural habitats in Victoria is the responsibility of both the state government and local councils. At a state level, vegetation protection is managed under the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP), and at a local government level through Vegetation Protection Overlays (VPOs). Currently, 52 out of 82 local councils in Victoria use VPOs.

These laws protect Victoria’s natural resource of mature and significant trees; including single trees, groups of trees, and larger areas of significant vegetation. Established native trees and vegetation are important habitats for local birds and animals. Trees also provide the state with aesthetic and functional resources. For these reasons, a number of state-level overlays are in place including the Environmental Significant Overlay, Significant Landscape Overlay, Heritage Overlays, Erosion Management Overlay and Salinity Management Overlay.

Councils are responsible for the execution of both the VPP and local VPOs, and for administering fines and prosecuting people who break the law.

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