Native forestry compliance update

The EPA regulates compliance of native forestry on both private and public land to protect the environment and ensure logging operations are sustainable.

The EPA regulates the compliance of Crown forestry operations with Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals (IFOAs) and the compliance of private forestry operations with the Private Native Forestry Codes of Practice.

This is achieved through operational inspections, audits, and investigations, and is supported by education and training.

The EPA conducts inspections, audits and investigations into operations carried out by Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) in regions covered by an IFOA, including coastal and western forests. 

In 2018-19, the EPA assessed 50 forestry operations on public land for compliance.

Compliance actions taken in the last three years are tabulated here.

Compliance action taken 2016/2017 2017/2018 2018/2019
Advisory Letters 5 8 6
Directions (Voluntary) 2 0 0
Show Cause Letters 3 4 7
Formal Warnings 1 2 6
Official Cautions 6 5 3
Clean up Notices 1 1 1
Penalty Notices 0 0 2
Prosecutions 0 2 0

 

The numbers in the table are the number of operations that were issued with a particular type of compliance action. Compliance actions may also have been issued to a number of parties associated with each operation. Each compliance action may also relate to a number of breaches. 

Compliance audit reports for individual crown forestry operations are available on the EPA's compliance audit report register.

In 2017-18, the EPA undertook two prosecutions in the Land and Environment Court for impacts from logging in Glenbog and Badja State Forests. This resulted in a fine of $8000 being imposed by the court for failing to comply with the IFOA in Glenbog State Forest. The court did not record a conviction for the alleged breach of the IFOA in Badja State Forest. 

The EPA conducts inspections and investigations into operations carried out under a Private Native Forestry Plan approved by the Local Land Services, and the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice.

In 2018-19, the EPA assessed 35 forestry operations on private land for compliance.

Compliance actions taken in the last three years are tabulated here.

Compliance action taken 2016/2017 2017/2018  2018/2019
Advisory Letters 3 10 7
Directions (Voluntary) 10 12 2
Show Cause Letters 3 2 0
Formal Warnings 0 12 8
Official Cautions 2 8 0
Clean up Notices 0 0 0
Stop Work Orders 0 1 0
Penalty Notices 3 4 0
PNF Plan Terminations 3 2 0
Prosecutions 0 2 1

 

The numbers in the table are the number of operations that were issued with a particular type of compliance action. Compliance actions may also have been issued to a number of parties associated with each operation. Each compliance action may also relate to a number of breaches. 

During the period between July 2017 and June 2019, the EPA undertook three prosecutions relating to section 120 of the Protection of the Environment Operation Act 1997 and the now repealed section 12 of the Native Vegetation Act 2003. In one case in the Mid Coast Local Government Area (LGA), the defendant was ordered to pay a fine of $10,000. In another case in the Clarence Valley LGA, charges were withdrawn. In the most recent case in the Tenterfield LGA, the defendant was ordered to pay a $5,500 fine.

 

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