Trees on national land and designated areas

The complex, dual system of land management and control in the ACT is outlined in Chapter 2 of this Handbook. Simplistically, land in the ACT is divided into national land and territory land. The Commonwealth, through the National Capital Authority (NCA), controls development in those areas of national land that are categorised as designated areas. The ACT, through ACTPLA, controls development in all other areas, but with reference to the NCA in those areas with special requirements because of their importance to Canberra as the national capital. As noted in Chapter 3 of this Handbook, NCA approval is required prior to the carrying out of any 'works' on land within a designated area. Works includes landscaping, tree felling and excavation. The planning and design principles set out in the National Capital Plan can provide indirect protection for trees where the removal of the trees would be contrary to these principles. For national land not part of a designated area, the special requirements of the National Capital Plan may also provide some indirect protection. Listing on the Commonwealth Heritage List also provides some protection for listed trees (see Chapter 9 in this Handbook for more information on Commonwealth heritage law).

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