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State Growth


Forestry

Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy

There are three primary elements to Tasmania's approach to achieving ecologically sustainable forest management:

  1. the Forest Practices Code to ensure the achievement of sustainable forestry operations
  2. the development of a comprehensive, adequate and representative forest reserve system to securely protect nature conservation values
  3. the maintenance of a permanent native forest estate to ensure that we maintain the resource base for all its various production, conservation and amenity values.

The policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate specifically addresses the third of these elements by ensuring that Tasmania maintains a permanent forest estate that comprises areas of native forest managed on a sustainable basis both within formal reserves and within multiple-use forests across public and private land.

The Policy is implemented by the Forest Practices Authority through the Authority's consideration of applications for approval of Forest Practices Plans under the Forest Practices Act 1985.

Tasmanian Government Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate – 30 June 2016 PDF, 69.92 KB | DOCX, 42.65 KB

Revisions to the Policy

In February 2007 a revised policy was issued to meet the requirements of Clause 45 of the May 2005 Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement. Clause 45 requires that the Policy describe the agreed approach to the phasing out of broad scale clearing and conversion of native forest, which is that:

  • 95 per cent of the 1996 Comprehensive Regional Assessments (CRA) native forest area is to be maintained on a statewide basis.
  • Broadscale clearing and conversion of native forest be phased out on public land by 2010.
  • Broadscale clearing and conversion of native forest on private land be phased out over a period of 10 years from 13 May 2005.
  • Assessment criteria for regulating forest clearing and conversion to ensure protection of regional biodiversity and water quality values and to meet salinity objectives.

Note that broadscale clearing and conversion of native forest on public land has ceased

In the period 2009 to December 2015, the Policy was revised on a number of occasions, firstly to set a limit on the rate of clearing of native forest as the Statewide level of retained forest approached the 95 percent level, secondly for the purpose of clarifying terminology and implementation mechanisms and thirdly to enable orderly completion of a comprehensive review.

The Policy is reviewed in conjunction with the five-yearly review cycle of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement.  To ensure the Policy and the RFA remain up to date, the Tasmanian and Australian Governments agreed that a full review of the Policy would be undertaken in 2015 as a related action to the RFA third five-yearly review and extension process.  

2015 Review of the Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy

A full review of the Tasmanian Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy has been underway as an adjunct to the third five-yearly review and extension process of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA). The review is being coordinated by the Department of State Growth.

In August 2015, the Tasmanian government invited members of the public to comment on the Tasmanian Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy, and any issues relevant to the ongoing implementation of the Policy.  The submission period has now closed.

The following documents were provided as part of the public comment process.

The Submission Period Has Now Closed

The representations received during the submission period, and not marked confidential, can be viewed via the link below.

View submissions via this link

With the completion of the public consultation period, all submissions are being assessed and considered along with other relevant information.  Review recommendations were expected to be put to Government in mid-2016, but due to the 2 July 2016 Federal election, completion of the review has been extended to 1 July 2017.

Consistent with the PNFEP process to date, the timeframe for implementation of the ban on broadscale clearing and conversion of native forest on private land has been extended for the same period (to 1 July 2017), pending completion of the PNFEP review.

None of the key biodiversity settings, including the 95% retention level, and existing limits to clearing on private land are altered by these arrangements.

The Policy was updated in June 2016 to reflect these new arrangements pending the completion of the review.

Tasmanian Government Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate – 30 June 2016 PDF, 69.92 KB | DOCX, 42.65 KB

Any queries regarding the review can be made by phoning the Department of State Growth on (03) 6166 4461 during business hours.