Native vegetation in Australia

Australia's native vegetation is one of the richest and most fundamental elements of our natural heritage. Native vegetation binds and nourishes our ancient soils; shelters and sustains wildlife; protects streams, wetlands, estuaries, and coastlines; absorbs carbon dioxide and emits oxygen.

Depletion and destruction of native vegetation is a primary driver of land degradation, salinity and declining water quality, and is the biggest cause of biodiversity loss. While broad scale land clearing for agriculture and urban development is a critical threat, the loss caused by clearing is compounded by the degradation of remnant bush through unsustainable grazing pressure, insect attack, disease, weeds, rising water tables, salinity, inappropriate fire management, unsustainable firewood gathering and neglect.

These pages provide information about National and Australian Government policies and activities, developed and implemented by the Department, which encourage and support the sustainable management of Australia's native vegetation.