Streamlined approach to sustainable forestry

Streamlined legislation for native forestry that delivers increased regulatory certainty and greater enforceability has been introduced into Parliament today.

Minister for the Environment Gabrielle Upton said the Bill proposes additional measures to secure the long-term ecological sustainability of our critical forest estate.

“This legislation balances economic benefits and environmental outcomes with community expectations, providing regulatory certainty for industry to operate efficiently, enhanced transparency for the public, and greater enforceability,” Ms Upton said.

“The Bill amended the Forestry Act 2012 to enact the proposed new Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOA), which is currently out for community consultation, and establishes provisions that enable the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) to enforce all its conditions.

“The Bill modernises the penalties for breaching the IFOA including increasing on-the-spot fines from $1,100 to $15,000.

“This brings penalty amounts into line with what already applies to corporations involved in forestry operations on private land, and other regulated industries in NSW.

“EPA will maintain its important regulatory and compliance oversight of private native forestry.”

Minister for Forestry Paul Toole said the legislation delivers a much-needed streamlined approach to the regulation of native forestry by consolidating five separate legislative frameworks into two.

Mr Toole said the Bill amended the Local Lands Services Act 2013 to formalise the transfer of responsibility for private native forestry advice and approvals to Local Land Services.

“This means we now have a single Act for overseeing land management activities on private land, and installs the Local Lands Services as a one-stop-shop for landholders seeking management advice and services,” Mr Toole said.

“The Bill will broaden the suite of allowable activities permitted in private native forestry areas, providing a more seamless approach to on farm management activities.”

The Bill also:

  • Modernises the administrative requirements for landholders seeking approval from Local Land Services to undertake private native forestry
  • Transitions existing private native forestry approvals automatically to the new legislative framework
  • Continues other IFOAs across NSW, and
  • Provides additional regulatory tools to the EPA beyond only punitive measures.

The Forestry Legislation Amendment Bill 2018 joins a broader suite of reforms including the NSW Government review and extension of the NSW Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) and the draft Coastal IFOA.

MEDIA:

Ashley Gardiner | Minister Toole | 0429 063 494

Alan Gale | Minister Upton | 0418 892 778