Classification of Burgan clears up confusion

Published on 06 June 2017


In December 2016, Council requested that the Minister for Planning approve a planning scheme amendment which corrected the species of Burgan referred to in the Nillumbik Planning Scheme.

Since 2011, the botanical name Kunzea ericoides has been misapplied and refers to a species that occurs in New Zealand, not Australia.

The planning amendment simply requested that the species listed on the Planning Scheme be corrected to reflect the species that occurs more commonly in Nillumbik - Kunzea leptospermoides (Yarra Burgan).

This means that residents still do not need to apply for a permit to remove Kunzea leptospermoides (Yarra Burgan).

Nillumbik Shire Mayor Councillor Peter Clarke said, "We're pleased that this first piece of confusing planning legislation has been corrected. We hope this clarifies the situation for our residents, particularly in the rural areas."

Bunjil Ward Councillor Karen Egan said, "I've been contacted by a number of people about the reclassification of this species and I'm pleased that I will be able to let them know that they will not be fined for removing what has now been clarified as Yarra Burgan.

"Removing Burgan is a key part of some residents' fire prevention works and now they can rest easy knowing they are removing the right plant."

Sugarloaf Ward Councillor Jane Ashton said, "Burgan is a colonizing plant and can dominate by outcompeting with other species resulting in a reduction of biodiversity, particularly orchids and ground storey species.

"In areas of indigenous vegetation reducing its coverage to patches and pockets may be required as part of the managing Nillumbik’s biodiversity."      

Chair of the Planning Committee Councillor Peter Perkins said, "Our network of local CFA brigades, in particular, will be happy with this planning scheme tidy up. It was following their persistent advocacy to the Municipal Fire Prevention Committee almost a decade ago that the requirement for residents to obtain a planning permit to control Burgan was first removed." 

The Amendment corrects the species name to Kunzea leptospermoides (Yarra Burgan) in the following clauses of the Nillumbik Planning Scheme:

  • Schedule 2 to the Special Use Zone (Bend of Islands)

  • Schedules 1, 3, and 4 of the Environmental Significance Overlay

  • Schedules 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 15 of the Significant Landscape Overlay

  • Schedule to Clause 52.17 (Native Vegetation).