Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA)
The Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a 20-year bilateral agreement between the Tasmanian and Australian governments signed on 8 November 1997. It is a framework document that is underpinned by Tasmania’s forest management system (including legislation, policies, codes, plans and management practices).
The RFA covers both public and privately owned forests, and provides for:
- the long term stability of forests and forest industries
- a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system (CAR reserve system)
- the ongoing ecologically sustainable management and use of forested areas in Tasmania.
Tasmania was the first state in Australia to be fully covered by an RFA. Documents relating to the preparation and release of the RFA, including the Agreement, land use maps, reports and assessments can be found on the Australian Government's RFA website.
Whole-of-Government co-ordination for the Tasmanian RFA is provided by the Department of State Growth. Other Tasmanian Government agencies involved are the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, the Department of Premier and Cabinet, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Private Forests Tasmania, and the Forest Practices Authority.
The original 1997 Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement expired on 8 November 2017.
The Australian and Tasmanian governments agreed to establish a 20 year rolling extension to the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (the extended RFA) in 2014. The governments committed to:
- extending the term of the Tasmanian RFA by 20 years
- establishing a ‘rolling’ life of the Tasmanian RFA by including a provision to extend its term for a further five years based upon successful completion and implementation of each independent five-yearly review.
In extending the Tasmanian RFA, the governments have maintained the objectives and framework of the agreement. The extended agreement will deliver a number of improvements to the RFA framework, including:
- rolling five-year extensions, subject to performance and review
- a more outcomes-focused review process — in line with international indicators and consistent with Australian and Tasmanian government State of the Forests Reports
- the inclusion of clauses on matters of national environmental significance, as defined by the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Protection Act 1999 (Cth)
For further information on the extension process, visit our Extending the RFA page.