Coastal IFOA

The NSW Government has remade the IFOAs  for the Upper North East, Lower North East, Southern and Eden regions into one Coastal IFOA, which is efficient, effective and enforceable, and reflects modern best-practice regulation. The Coastal IFOA commenced on 16 November 2018. 

Explanatory note

The explanatory note (PDF 136KB) outlines the purpose and structure of the Coastal IFOA, the areas to which the Coastal IFOA applies and the role of the EPA in enforcing the Coastal IFOA.

Annual return

The Forestry Corporation of NSW is required to submit coastal IFOA annual returns to the EPA.

Structure of the Coastal IFOA

The Coastal IFOA introduces a new structure and outcomes-based regulatory approach, with a clear hierarchy of outcomes and conditions and protocols.  The documents should be used and read in this way. 

Coastal IFOA Conditions

The Coastal IFOA conditions (PDF 9.75MB)  can only be amended by the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Industry and Trade.

The Coastal IFOA conditions set mandatory actions and controls for protecting threatened plants, animals, habitats, soils and water.

Each condition is linked to an outcome statement. Whilst not an enforceable element of the Coastal IFOA, the outcome statements explain the intent of what the conditions are to achieve.

Coastal IFOA Protocols

The Coastal IFOA protocols (PDF 20MB)  have been adopted by the Coastal IFOA. They set out additional enforceable actions and controls to support the effective implementation of the Coastal IFOA conditions.

The Coastal IFOA protocols are amended from time to time by the EPA (instead of the Ministers). This ensures that the Coastal IFOA can be adaptively managed to ensure it continues to deliver its intended outcomes and reflect best practice.

Best practice guidance material is being prepared to provide further support to the interpretation and implementation of the Coastal IFOA. This guidance material will be published on the EPA's website from time to time.

Site-specific operating conditions

For information on site-specific approvals for forestry operations to occur in bushfire affected forests, see Bushfire-affected forestry operations.

Transitional arrangements

The Coastal IFOA includes arrangements to transition forestry operations from old to new IFOA conditions, to ensure forestry operations underway or already planned are not disrupted. Transitional arrangements are provided in Protocol 40.

Forestry operations that have been planned or approved under the relevant Upper North East, Lower North East, Southern and Eden IFOAs will continue to operate and be enforced in accordance with the conditions of the relevant IFOA. Alternatively, FCNSW can elect to undertake the forestry operation in accordance with the Coastal IFOA.

Table 2 of Protocol 40 lists the operations that are authorised to be carried out under the relevant IFOAs.

On 13 December 2019, the EPA approved the following 23 operational plans to be undertaken under the relevant IFOAs, in accordance with Protocol 40 condition 40.6(1)(b):

IFOA Sub Region State Forest Compartments

Lower North East

Ballengarra

7, 8, 9

Lower North East

Ballengarra

83, 84, 85, 86, 87

Lower North East

Barrington Tops

63, 64, 65

Southern

Benandarah

114, 116

Lower North East

Bulga

90, 94, 95, 96

Lower North East

Chichester

19

Lower North East

Chichester

26, 27

Southern

Clyde

206, 467

Lower North East

Comboyne

139, 144, 145

Lower North East

Gladstone

194, 211, 212, 213, 214

Lower North East

Gladstone

228, 231, 232, 233

Lower North East

Kerewong/Upsalls Creek

138, 140, 141, 142, 143, 260

Eden

Nadgee

59, 60, 63

Lower North East

Olney

66

Lower North East

Olney

80, 81 & 82

Lower North East

Ourimbah

141 & 142

Lower North East

Riamukka

81, 96

Upper North East

Richmond Range Profit a Prendre

Lots 101,104 DP 751077

Lower North East

Styx River

540, 541, 542, 552

Southern

Tallaganda

2451, 2455

Lower North East

Wang Wauk/Bulahdelah

138, 139, 145

Eden

Yambulla

362, 363, 365

Eden

Yambulla

415, 418, 423, 483, 484, 506, 507, 508

Amendments to Coastal IFOA Protocols

The following amendments have been made to Coastal IFOA Protocols. All current Protocols can be found in Coastal IFOA protocols (PDF 19MB);

Protocol 8: Local landscape areas

  • Amended on 15 November 2019 to address inefficiencies in the administrative approval process for making local landscape areas.

Protocol 23: Tree retention

  • Amended on 15 November to correct a drafting error relating to koala browse tree prescriptions.

Protocol 40: Transitional arrangements

  • Amended on 15 November 2019 to permit FCNSW to continue operating under former IFOAs in approved areas in response to extensive fires occurring northern NSW. This amendment improves the clarity and enforceability of these arrangements, whilst identifying the specific operational plans that can continue operating under the former IFOAs for the next 12-months.
  • Amended on 16 March 2020 to clarify the meaning of ‘koala intermediate use areas’ for application during the transition period. This amendment also updates the list of forestry operations which can continue to operate under the former IFOAs. 

Coastal IFOA documents

Page last updated