Tree Protection Act 2005

The Tree Protection Act introduces the concept of ‘protected trees’ and seeks to provide tree protection through the establishment of:
  • an ACT Tree Register for the protection of individual trees of exceptional value (registered trees)
  • Tree Management Precincts (for regulated trees) for protection against unnecessary removal of trees in urban forests.
A ‘protected tree’ may be either a ‘registered tree’ or a ‘regulated tree’.

The objects of the Tree Protection Act include the promotion of the value of trees and their protection requirements into development design and planning and the promotion of a broad appreciation of the role of trees in the urban environment (s 3).


The Tree Protection Act is only applicable to territory land that is declared to be in a ‘built-up urban area’ by the responsible minister (the Minister for Territory and Municipal Services) (s 7). The emphasis of the Tree Protection Act is on leased land within the built-up urban area. Trees on unleased land are not subject to the provisions of the Tree Protection Act unless they have been entered on the ACT Tree Register. Trees on national land are not covered by the Tree Protection Act.

ACT Tree Register

The Tree Protection Act protects individual trees through the establishment of a tree register, managed by the Conservator of Flora and Fauna (‘the conservator’) (s 41). The minister responsible for the Tree Protection Act establishes the criteria for the registration (and cancellation of registration) of a tree (s 45). This criteria requires the tree to be exceptional for its natural or cultural heritage value, landscape and aesthetic value or scientific value. The current criteria is listed in the Tree Protection (Criteria for Registration and Cancellation of Registration) Determination 2006 (ACT) and can be found on the ACT legislation register (see Contacts list at the back of this book).

Tree Advisory Panel

Section 68 of the Tree Protection Act creates the Tree Advisory Panel (‘advisory panel’). The advisory panel is established to provide advice to the conservator. In August 2014, two advisory panel members were appointed for a 2 year term and another member was appointed for a 1 year term. A person appointed to the advisory panel must have extensive experience in one of the following areas (s 69(3)):
  • arboriculture
  • forestry
  • horticulture
  • landscape architecture
  • natural and cultural heritage (s69(3)).

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