Useful Resources

Navigating the permit system

There are a range of approvals (eg. permits, licences, or written approvals) required before people can under take activities such as firewood collection, groundwater extraction, and collection of seed from public land. This guide has been developed to help community and landholders navigate the approval requirements for natural resource-based activities in the Goulburn Broken Catchment. We will work to ensure this information is kept up to date, however, it is the responsibility of community and landholders to seek further clarification from each responsible agency.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive, however website links have been provided for further information on other requirements.

Less than 3% of native vegetation remains in the Goulburn Broken Catchment, which is why it is critical that we protect our remaining native vegetation. Permits are required for a range of natural resource management activities that may impact on native vegetation such as taking/collecting native vegetation, remove, lop or destroy native vegetation such as paddock trees, taking for forest produce. Permits to plant, work or graze roadsides is also required.

Removal of native vegetation

Permit: Removal of all native vegetation is regulated through local planning schemes and requires a planning permit to remove, lop or destroy any native vegetation.

Read more here.

Your local council

Taking/collecting native vegetation

Permit: Authorisation under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 is  required for activities such as taking protected flora, conducting research on listed fish, importing or cultivating tree-ferns or grasstrees.

Read more here.

Department of Environment Land Water and Planning


Taking of minor forest produce

Permit: A permit is required for any taking of parts of native plants on crown land (eg. collecting seeds).  

Read more here.

Licence or Permit: Commercial and non-commercial activities in Victoria's state forests (crown/public land) may require a licence or permit. These activities can range from collection of eucalyptus oil to apiculture.

Read more here.


Planting native vegetation on road reserves


Written consent: Must be obtained from the responsible authority - Council (local roads) or Regional Roads Victoria (arterial) - to plant or remove any vegetation on road reserves.

Read more here.

Your local council or Regional Roads Victoria ( VicRoads)
Working within a road reserve  

The Road Management Act 2004 allocates responsibility for the management and coordination of different parts of a road reserve, including the roadside. Generally, Regional Roads Victoria (VicRoads) is responsible for the management of all roadsides on freeways (excluding toll roads); all roadside areas on non-urban arterial roads, and central medians on urban roadsides.

Councils are generally responsible for the management of urban arterial roadsides and local roads; however, RRV and Councils may, by agreement, share or change responsibilities.

You must obtain consent from the Coordinating Road Authority for works on roadsides.

Read more here.

Your local council or Regional Roads Victoria ( VicRoads)

  Grazing road reserves Permit: A permit must be obtained from the relevant council for any grazing on road reserves. Your local council
There are 493 species of native vertebrate fauna in the Goulburn Broken Catchment which includes mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and amphibians (35 introduced species). Of these 110 species are recognised as being threatened with extinction in Victoria and 17 threatened with extinction at a national level.
Interference with native wildlife

Permit: Authorisation under the Wildlife Act 1975 is required for undertaking control of native wildlife (eg. kangaroos), applications for wildlife permits (research), shelter operation and animal foster care.

Licence: Depending on the species, it is possible to keep some wildlife at home in Victoria if you have the appropriate licence. Read more here.

Licence: Anyone hunting game in Victoria, including juniors (12-17 years) must hold a current Game Licence which must be endorsed for the type(s) of game that you wish to hunt; and only permits you to hunt that game in Victoria. ‘Game’ includes those species of duck, deer, quail, pheasant and partridge declared to be game in Victoria. Ensure you are up to date on what is permissible. Read more here.

For other  permits and application forms read more here.

Department of Environment Land Water and Planning

Game Management Authority


Licence: A Recreational Fishing Licence (RFL) covers, all forms of recreational fishing in all of Victoria's marine, estuarine and inland waters. Unless you are exempt, a licence is required when taking, or attempting to take, any species of fish by any method including line fishing, bait collection, gathering shellfish, yabby fishing, prawning and spear fishing. Check closures, seasons, size and bag limits.

Read more here.

Victorian Fisheries Authority

Under Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act 1988 , “loss of coarse woody debris from Victorian native forests and woodlands” is listed as a “potentially threatening process”.

Crown land (public land)

Permit: Collection of firewood allowed in strictly designated areas at designated times of a year. All designated collection areas are determined under the relevant legislation and published in the Victoria Government Gazette, which can be viewed here.

The Forests Act 1958 and the Crown Land (Reserves) Act 1978 and associated regulations establish the rules and outline penalties for domestic firewood collection. Read more here. 

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Permit: Roads managed by Regional Roads Victoria (VicRoads) (arterial roads) do not allow collection of firewood.

Collection of firewood on local roads is subject to written approval by Local Government.

Read more here.

Regional Roads Victoria (VicRoads)

Your local council

Pest plants and animals cause detrimental effects on landscapes by spreading weeds and contributing to soil erosion, water degradation and loss of biodiversity. Invasive animals prey on native wildlife and can out-compete and displace other native animals by competing for harbour, food and water resources.

Pest plants and animals

Permit: The Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994 (CALP Act) prohibits the bringing into Victoria, selling, buying, transport, display, planting and propagation of all categories of noxious weeds without a permit, and regulates the import, keeping, selling and releasing of declared pest animals in Victoria.

Read more here.

Agriculture Victoria

Through floodplain planning and management, catchment partners aim to build flood-resilient communities by capturing and sharing flood knowledge to ensure future developments are not unduly exposed to flood hazard and to protect the environmental values of the area.

Water quality management  

Guidelines: The North East Protection of Water Quality Guidelines (updated 2016) provides information to consider regarding water quality protection in land development assessment.

Read more here.

  Goulburn Broken CMA


Levee maintenance permits

A permit is required to undertake maintenance on levees.

Read more here.

  Goulburn Broken CMA


Works on a waterway (eg. pump house or pipeline, associated with taking and using water, including any dam or weir)

Licence: Works can impact on water flows, water quality and waterway stability, affecting other users and health of a waterway. (New dams on waterways are usually refused).

Licence/Authority: Works on or across Crown land may require a Licence/Authority. Read more here.


Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Other work or activities in a waterway, including culverts, bridges, occupation crossings, vegetation and erosion management

Permit: Works can impact the physical stability and health of a waterway and neighbouring properties.

Licence/Authority: Works on or across Crown land may require a Licence/Authority (ie. Crown  land water frontage). Read more here.

Goulburn Broken CMA

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Grazing, cultivating, undertaking earthworks or building structures on Crown land water frontages

Licence: Works can impact on water flows, water quality and waterway stability. A licence is required for any grazing on Crown land water frontages and conditions apply.

Planning Permit: A planning permit is required for any earthworks on crown land water frontage. Read more here.


Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Works in and around Heritage Rivers; there are 18 declared Heritage Rivers (applies to Crown land only)

Approval: Works must not compromise the values of Heritage Rivers (eg. Goulburn - downstream of Eildon - Big and Howqua Rivers).

Licence/Authority: Works on or across Crown land may require a Licence/Authority (ie. Crown land water frontage).

  Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
Sand, gravel, rock, mineral extraction from a waterway

Planning permits are required.

Read more here.

Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (Earth Resources)

There are a range of licences and requirements of landholders ain regards to water extraction that ensure effective planning around water resource use.


Taking and using water from a river, creek or waterway (other than for directly adjoining domestic and stock purposes)

Licence: The taking of water from streams needs to be managed to ensure equity in distribution, ongoing sustainability of the resource and the protection of environmental values.

Bore construction Licence: Licensing of bores is required to ensure that they are constructed to protect the groundwater resources.   GMW
Groundwater extractions Licence: Licensing of groundwater use, other than domestic and stock, is required to ensure the entitlements of all users are protected and new allocations do not adversely affect underground aquifers.  GMW
Domestic and stock

Licence: Extraction for Domestic & Stock purposes often requires licensing.

Irrigation developments guidelines (Northern Victoria)

Guidelines: The Northern Victoria Irrigation Development Guidelines guide new irrigation developments in meeting best practice standards to avoid or minimise, the off-site impacts of irrigation water use. Read more here.

Agriculture Victoria

Goulburn Broken CMA

A range of permits and requirements exist for activities related to agricultural land such as structures and earthworks. This also includes opportunities for pre-statutory advice for proposed development (land-use planning). Critical to this is pollution management such as disposal of wastes, spraying of chemicals and emissions; and the management of intensive animal husbandry.

Pre-statutory advice

Application: Before applying for a planning permit with your council, flood advice can be obtained directly from the Goulburn Broken CMA by submitting a completed application form with a processing fee. The Goulburn Broken CMA will provide flood advice in writing. Read more here.

Goulburn Broken CMA
Structures and earthworks

Planning Permit: A planning permit is required where earthworks alter the rate or pattern of water flow for local drainage or flood flows, impact on native vegetation (including aquatic vegetation), neighbouring properties and the environment.

Note: City of Greater Shepparton  and Campaspe and Moira Shire Councils introduced planning controls for earthworks. Earthworks on rural land must be planned and approved according to the Victoria Planning Provisions. Landholders must discuss with their council the requirements for a planning permit before undertaking any earthworks.
Your local council
Disposal of solid wastes and dead stock Approval: Some solid wastes (eg. concrete, dead stock and contaminated soil) need to be disposed of in an approved manner. Read more here. Environmental Protection Agency

Disposal of liquid wastes

a) Septic tank permit 

b) Codes of practice - animal effluent

Advice/works approval:  Natural resources can be adversely affected if liquid wastes are not disposed of appropriately.

Your local council

Environmental Protection Agency

Spraying of agricultural chemicals Agriculture Victoria regulates the use of agricultural and veterinary chemicals, as well as the manufacture and use of fertilizers and stock foods to improve their use in Victoria, protect and enhance market access and consumer confidence and minimise risks to human health, the environment and animal welfare and trade. Read more here. Agriculture Victoria
Excessive noise or air emissions

Advice: Airborne pollutants and noises can impact on the environment.  The rights of neighbours also need to be recognised and protected. Read more here.


Environmental Protection Agency

Any planned burning of material such as grass, scrub or timber for fire protection  

Permit/authorisation: When summer fire restrictions are in force and on days of total fire ban. Fire restrictions are placed to protect our parks and forests, private and public property from fire damage. Read more here.

 Forest Fire Management Victoria
Intensive animal husbandry Permit required: Planning provisions apply for intensive animal husbandry, where it meets certain thresholds. Read more about the Victorian Grazing and Intensive Animal Production Guidelines (September 2018) here.

 Your local council

Agriculture Victoria

The Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 and the Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018 provide the protection and management for Victoria’s Aboriginal heritage (eg. Aboriginal places, objects and remains etc.) on private and public land.

Protection of cultural heritage

Cultural Heritage Management Plans, permits, agreements and tests.

A Cultural Heritage Permit is required if you plan to:

  • disturb or excavate land to uncover or discover Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
  • rehabilitate land at an Aboriginal place
  • carry out research on an Aboriginal place
  • carry out an activity that will, or is likely to, harm Aboriginal cultural heritage
  • sell an Aboriginal object (where it was not made for the purpose of sale)
  • remove an Aboriginal cultural heritage object from Victoria

A Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) assesses the potential impact of a proposed activity on Aboriginal cultural heritage. It then outlines measures to be taken to protect the area. For some activities proposed in some areas, a CHMP is required by law. The Preliminary Aboriginal Heritage Test provides sponsors with certainty about whether a CHMP is required for a proposed activity. Read more here.

The Registered Aboriginal Party in your area.

Aboriginal Heritage Regulations 2018

For information on emergency incidents or warnings for your area, please visit the emergency response website or call 1800 226 226

Flooding/storms Helping to prevent, prepare and recover from floods/storm events in Victoria, rural and urban areas. Read more here. VICSES 
Waterway incidents

 Pollution of waterways, including fish deaths

Blue green algae outbreaks

  Environmental Protection Agency

Goulburn Murray Water


 Permits: To carry out a burn-off on private land (eg. stubble burning)  landholders must apply for a permit.

Planned Burns: DELWP and Parks Victoria carry out fire operations to reduce the risk of bushfire to people, communities and the environment. Read more here.

Wildfire: Emergency management is a shared responsibility and priority for the Victorian Government. Read more here.

 You local council or the CFA

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, CFA, VIC SES, Parks Victoria

Tri-state NRM Murray Alliance

The Tri-state Murray NRM Alliance was formed to better co-ordinate efforts along the Murray River corridor to grow the economy, secure the environment and motivate and inspire the community.

Vic Catchments

The Vic Catchments forum, formed in February 2017, is an unincorporated body based on a collegiate agreement between the 10 Victorian regional Catchment Management Authorities (CMAs). Its purpose is to showcase Victoria’s integrated catchment management framework.

Read more here.

The Goulburn Broken CMA acknowledges and respects First Nations people and the deep connection they have with their land and waters.

We acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and Taungurung people and their ancestors/forbears as Traditional Owners of the land and waters in the Goulburn Broken Catchment (and beyond). We value our ongoing partnerships with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council for the health of Country and its people.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge and recognise the primacy of Traditional Owners obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters.

168 Welsford Street, PO Box 1752, Shepparton VIC 3630
T (03) 5822 7700
F (03) 5831 6254

89 Sydney Road, PO Box 124, Benalla VIC 3672
T (03) 5822 7700

Shop 5/10 High Street, Yea VIC 3717
T (03) 5822 7700

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