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Changes to Logging Laws

mpicklesMon, 14/01/2019 - 9:28am

The Director of Forestry has clarified changes to the Laws regarding logging. The use of timber for power stations is ruled out. The maintenance of habitat has been increased with further restrictions on logging. More information is available on the website : http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/native-forestry/integrated-forestry-operations-approvals/coastal-ifoa.

 

Dear Ms Pickles,

 I refer to your email to the Minister for the Environment, the Hon Gabrielle Upton MP about forestry regulations. Your email was referred to the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and I have been asked to reply.

The NSW Government is committed to the long term and ecologically sustainable management of NSW’s forests. To achieve this, we are delivering significant reforms to the regulation of native forestry in NSW to ensure that native forestry achieves an appropriate balance between environmental values, timber supply and social outcomes.

The NSW Government has delivered new modernised legislation to improve how native forestry is regulated on both public and private land. The new Forestry Legislation Amendment Act 2018 provides increased penalties for breaking the rules, from $1,100 to $15,000. It also introduces other enforcement tools, such as remediation orders and temporary stop work orders, to drive improved environmental outcomes and compliance with the rules.

In addition, new rules to regulate native forestry on State forest, the Coastal IFOA, commenced on 16 November. The Coastal IFOA replaces outdated rules that had been in place for nearly 20-years and had not kept pace with forest management, environmental, or regulatory best practice. While established with the right intentions, they were no longer effective and large parts of them could not be enforced.

The Coastal IFOA has been prepared based on best practice, research and independent advice from a panel of threatened species experts and the Natural Resources Commission. It sets new efficient, effective and enforceable rules to better protect plants, animals, ecosystems, soils and waterways during native forestry operations on State Forests. These include minimum standards to preserve important wildlife habitat, which will be complemented by existing protected areas such as habitat corridors, old growth forest, rainforests, streams and wetlands.

Until now, the former IFOAs enabled Forestry Corporation of NSW to apply intensive harvesting unbounded over time and across the landscape. The Coastal IFOA sets limits to its application for the first time, and balances its application with improvements to the amount, distribution and quality of permanent habitat protections.

More information on the new Coastal IFOA is  on the EPA website at www.epa.nsw.gov.au/your-environment/native-forestry/integrated-forestry-....

In relation to your concerns regarding the use of native timber for bio fuels, please be assured that the NSW Government has no plans to build wood-fired power stations on the north coast. I understand that in 2017 the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) completed a North Coast Residues scientific research project. The purpose of this project was to determine the availability of existing forestry and sawmilling residues in three main local ‘hubs’, Bulahdelah, Kempsey and Grafton, with the aim of potentially stimulating an economic use for the product. This project has been completed and a copy of the final report is  for download on the DPI website at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/forestry/north-coast-residues-project. If you have any further questions about DPI’s research, they can be contacted at 02 6391 3100.

If you have any further questions about the regulation and reforms to native forestry please contact me at 9995 6703 or at jacquelyn.miles@epa.nsw.gov.au.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jackie miles

Acting Director Forestry

Environment Protection Authority

www.epa.nsw.gov.au     @EPA_NSW     EPA YouTube

Report pollution and environmental incidents 131 555 (NSW only) or +61 2 9995 5555

 

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