Vegetation on Council-Controlled Land
  • Last updated:
  • 06 Oct 2016

Council looks after all plants and shrubs on council-controlled land including roads, pathways and parks.

It is accepted that residents mow and edge the grass on the nature strip beside their property, and a permit is not required to do so.

On road reserves, footpaths and nature strips under council control you need a permit to:

  • plant
  • clear
  • damage vegetation.

Council prefers council staff or contractors to complete this work. Council manages planting on nature strips to ensure everyone can move safely with a clear path and to ensure drivers have clear vision.

Services such as water, sewerage, power and telecommunications may be located in nature strips and could be damaged during excavation.


Council may grant a permit for the following on council-controlled road reserves:

  • planting a shrub or creating a small nature strip garden
  • clearing or damaging vegetation/trees assessed as low value during building (i.e. driveway, fencing).

Generally, council will not issue a permit for the following:

  • planting, clearing or damaging vegetation/trees in an area other than the nature strip adjoining the applicant's property (i.e. parks, reserves, dunal or foreshore areas)
  • planting street trees
  • installing any structures such as garden bed edging, rocks, paving or artificial turf etc., within the nature strip
  • planting, clearing or damaging vegetation on state-controlled land.

If the work is part of a community group project such as a community garden or similar, please contact council's customer service centre.

Council expects the applicant to keep the garden in a well-maintained and safe condition. Council may get involved if the vegetation is a risk to the public or motorists.

Applying for a permit

Prior to lodging a permit application, it is recommended that you contact council’s customer service centre and lodge a request for Parks & Gardens to conduct a risk assessment of the tree or vegetation concerned.

To ensure your application is considered, please include the following:

  • completed Permit Application form[303KB]
  • non-refundable application fee of $165
  • landscape plan showing the plant locations, plant species and plant numbers
  • Dial Before you Dig notification (for activities involving machinery)
  • consent from neighbours
  • proof of public liability insurance.

You can lodge your application at any council customer service centre. If your application is unsuccessful, you will not be required to pay the bond, however your application fee will not be refunded.


You will not have to pay your bond until council has assessed and approved your application. Your bond is refunded after the work is completed. The purpose of the bond is to cover any damage to existing infrastructure or vegetation and varies depending on the level of risk:

  • $250 (minor work such as planting or removing a small tree or shrub without machinery or vehicles)
  • $500 (installing or removing a garden bed or larger tree without machinery or heavy vehicles)
  • $2000 (major work involving machinery or heavy vehicles)
  • POA (major work that may endanger nearby trees).

Council will not issue a permit until you have paid the bond.

More information

If you want to plant, clear or damage vegetation on land under the care and control of a state government agency, please direct your request to the relevant agency.

For more information about vegetation on council-controlled land, refer to the above fact sheet, or contact council's customer service centre.