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Forestry reforms

Native forestry is currently regulated under seven pieces of legislation which has resulted in duplication and inefficiency. The outdated and overly complex regulations are no longer delivering the best outcomes for the community, the environment and the industry.

The NSW Government will deliver integrated native forestry legislation as part of its biodiversity reforms.

The reforms aim to:

  • make it more efficient for industry to operate whilst maintaining the same level of environmental protection
  • build a stronger, more competitive and ecologically sustainable forestry industry

Achieving sustainability

Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are a framework for commercial native forestry operations to achieve sustainable management and conservation of native forests. RFAs are 20 year agreements between NSW and the Commonwealth and there are three in force in NSW. These are due to expire in the near future – Eden in 2019, North East in 2020 and Southern in 2021.

Approving forestry operations

We are also committed to making a single coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval (IFOA) to reduce the costs associated with implementation and compliance, and improve clarity and enforceability.

Under the Forestry Act 2012, an IFOA is an approval granted by the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Lands and Forestry, which allows the Forestry Corporation of NSW to operate in NSW State forests.

There are currently four coastal IFOAs in force in NSW – Upper and Lower North East, Southern and Eden. The IFOAs include the terms and conditions under which forestry operations may occur in each region of NSW. Forestry operations are any operation undertaken in State forests or other Crown-timber land, including bee-keeping and grazing.