Vegetation Protection Orders (VPOs) are made through council’s Local Law No.49 – Protection of Important Vegetation. Council uses the law to protect vegetation of extensive value. The vegetation may be an individual tree, cluster of trees or a large wooded area with undergrowth.

Having protected vegetation on your property does not mean you can’t use or manage it. Advice, support and in some circumstances a management plan, is provided to the property owner.

The law describes the process for making a VPO. It involves:

  • identification or nomination
  • assessment of suitability for protection
  • provision of opportunity for those affected and the broader community to provide submissions
  • consideration of submissions by council
  • decision by council.

How to nominate

Vegetation can be nominated by completing an application form (PDF, 123.5 KB) and emailing or sending it to council. In situations where the applicant/nominee is not the owner of the land on which the vegetation is located, it is essential that either the owner has given consent or information is provided detailing why consent is not granted.

Nominations can be made for an individual tree, cluster of trees or a large wooded area with undergrowth.

The nomination must state how the vegetation meets at least one of the following objects of the law including:


Examples (but not limited to):

(a) A valuable part of the natural heritage of the area.

  • Native species that is unique or localised mostly to Ipswich
  • A native species of great age
  • Old growth/remnant native vegetation
  • Example of a native specimen on the edge of its range.

(b) An example of a threatened species or a species that may be about to become, a threatened species.

(c) A valuable scientific resource.

  • Example of a specimen particularly resistant to disease or exposure
  • Species is vital to biochemical, natural medicines or pharmaceuticals,

(d) Valuable source of propagating stock or of other horticultural value.

  • Associated with important genetic value or resource
  • Recognised as an essential source of fodder for stock
  • Prolific seed producer of notable fertility.

(e) Of historic or cultural significance.

  • Connected to Aboriginal community, landscape, place or site
  • Recognised in Aboriginal activities, rituals, religious observance or legend
  • Associated with an important historical event/occasion or the commemoration of an important historical event
  • Linked to early settlers
  • Dedicated to important person, group or institution
  • Associated with inspiration, spiritual and religious matters
  • Forms part of an historic garden.

(f) A valuable educational or recreational resource.

  • A key element for visiting and being active in an area
  • Is an essential focal point for environmental learning, awareness, interpretation and understanding.

(g) An important habitat for native animals (including native or migratory birds) or a part of a fauna and flora corridor.

  • Known to provide essential food, shelter or movement for native animals that are:
    • Listed in the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Comm.) or Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Qld.)
    • Significant local species to the Ipswich region
    • ‘Priority’ species in the Nature Conservation Strategy
  • Identified as crucial habitat within council’s Koala Conservation and Habitat Management Plan

(h) A key part of a vegetation system or other ecological system.

  • Identified as an important local or regional corridor (i.e. within the Nature Conservation Strategy)
  • Provides a buffer to areas of conservation significance (i.e. Conservation Estate, Reserve or Urban Bushland)
  • Essential for protecting slopes or unstable and erodible soils.

(i) Important for protecting a water catchment area.

  • Vital to drainage lines, watercourses, rivers and bodies of water
  • Recognised for its beneficial effect on water salinity (including ground water salinity).

(j) Important for its aesthetic value or its beneficial effect on the amenity of the locality in which it is situated.

  • Unique location or context
  • Important landmark or contribution to landscape.
  • Particularly old or admired
  • Outstanding for its height, trunk circumference or canopy spread
  • An exceptional specimen of the species
  • Exhibits curious growth form or unusual physical features whether naturally occurring, resulting from natural events or human intervention
  • Provides crucial visual screening against unsightly objects, pollutants, glare, light spillage, noise or other adverse environmental effects
  • Contributes considerably to managing weather effects (e.g. heat impacts).

(k) Planted for the purpose of meeting obligations under offsets or related environmental management schemes or legislation.

  • Associated with the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Comm.) offset requirements or the Environmental Offsets Act 2014 (Qld.)
  • Is part of a carbon offset program or similar.

The nomination will be assessed against the objectives of the law to determine if a VPO will be placed over the vegetation. Assessment will be carried out within 15 business days.

If a site visit or further information is needed, a council officer will be in contact.

For urgent nominations where the vegetation is under immediate threat, or for general vegetation protection enquiries, phone council on (07) 3810 6666.

Have your say on the recently made Vegetation Protection Orders

The law provides for affected residents and the community to have their say through a submission process.

A list of recently made VPOs in the public consultation phase can be found in the following table:

Trees, Cluster of Trees & Area of Vegetation

Affected Properties

Category of Protection

Submission Closure Date


Any person can make a submission objecting to or supporting the making of a VPO.

Making a submission about a recently made Vegetation Protection Orders

To be considered a properly made submission, the submission must be in writing and signed by the submitter. The submission must be addressed to “Chief Executive Officer. Attention: Natural Environment & Land Manager”.

Electronic submissions should be sent to Submissions sent via post should be addressed to PO Box 191, Ipswich QLD 4305.

Submissions must state:

  • the name and address of the person making the submission
  • the grounds of the submission (which must relate to the objects set out in the local law) e.g. why the vegetation is or is not important and reasons that the vegetation should or should not be protected
  • the facts and circumstances relied on in support of those grounds e.g. any evidence to support your reasons for wanting to protect or not protect the vegetation.

Council will consider all properly made submissions.

Council may, upon consideration of any properly made submission, and without further consultation, confirm or revoke a VPO as set out in the Local Law.