Environmental Law Australia

Khyber case

This case study is provided to explain and illustrate the concepts involved in Queensland’s vegetation management system in practice.

The case involved an appeal to the Land Court of Queensland by a landholder against refusal of a tree clearing permit under the Land Act 1994 (Qld) for a pastoral property known as “Khyber”. Applications for broadscale clearing such as involved in this appeal are no longer possible due to the phase-out of broadscale land clearing in Queensland in 2006 (which was modified in 2013 to allow broadscale clearing for high value agriculture and irrigated high-value agriculture).

Virtually all appeals involving vegetation management are now made to the Planning and Environment Court and are subject to the Vegetation Management Act 1999 (Qld) and the Planning Act 2016 (Qld).

While the avenue for appeal considered in this case no longer exists, the concepts dealt with in the case study remain relevant as they form the conceptual basis for vegetation management in Queensland at a State level.

The case study illustrates the use of regional ecosystem (RE) mapping for vegetation management. Neldner (2005) provides a detailed explanation of regional ecosystem mapping, including concepts such as landzones and map polygons referred to in the decision of the Land Court in this case.

This case is used to explain the vegetation management framework in Queensland in the following lecture:


Key documents

Media reports about this case

There are no media reports about this case specifically. The following articles involve vegetation clearing in Queensland:

‘Global deforestation hotspot’: 3m hectares of Australian forest to be lost in 15 years, The Guardian, 5 March 2018.

Scorched country: the destruction of Australia’s native landscape, The Guardian, 7 March 2018.

Death by a thousand cuts: the familiar patterns behind Australia’s land-clearing crisis, The Guardian, 15 March 2018.