Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOA) remake

The New South Wales Government (NSW) is updating the rules for native timber harvesting in NSW’s coastal timber production state forests.

This includes consolidating the four Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) for the Eden, Southern, Upper and Lower North East coastal regions of NSW, into a single, modern Coastal IFOA. 

The objectives of the IFOA remake are to

  • reduce costs associated with implementation and compliance
  • improve clarity and enforceability of the conditions for protecting the environment, threatened species and fisheries in state forests
  • incorporate innovations in best regulatory practice and advances in technology
  • deliver a contemporary regulatory framework that is fit for purpose

The objectives of the IFOA remake will be met with no erosion of environmental values and no net change to wood supply.

Consultation on the Draft Coastal IFOA has closed

The Draft Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) and supporting documents were open for public consultation from 15 May 2018 to 13 July 2018. Comments have now closed.

The draft Coastal IFOA sets the rules for how forestry operations can be carried out in native forests on public land in NSW. It is important to everyone as it balances environmental outcomes and timber production.

The aim of the public consultation was to gather feedback from key stakeholders and the wider community to assist the NSW Government in determining whether the proposed Coastal IFOA conditions achieve the appropriate balance between maintaining environmental values, wood supply and social outcomes in NSW public forests.

The NSW Government received approximately 3000 submissions. The Government will now take time to consider these public comments as it works to finalise the new Coastal IFOA.

Drafting the Coastal IFOA

The development of the draft Coastal IFOA has been informed by public submissions received regarding the IFOA discussion paper  (PDF 2MB), which was made available for public consultation in 2014 alongside other information.

This included a proposed framework for forestry regeneration to be incorporated into the IFOA.

The government also engaged the Forest Practices Authority (FPA) of Tasmania to independently review the proposed threatened species licence framework , and convened  a panel of threatened species experts to review and provide input into the development of ‘multi-scale landscape’ protections for threatened species in forestry on privately-owned and public land.

The advice from these reviews was considered as part of the development of the draft Coastal IFOA. The report of the advice from the expert threatened species panel was placed on public exhibition with the draft Coastal IFOA.

Additionally, from July to September 2015, the government conducted a trial of proposed settings of the Coastal IFOA in five harvest areas on the mid-north coast, to:

  • demonstrate options for protecting threatened species and their habitats from timber harvesting operations,
  • consider ways in which the options met the objectives of the Coastal IFOA remake, and
  • test different harvesting intensities

The report on the outcomes of the trial was available for public viewing alongside the draft Coastal IFOA.

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