Brigalow and Nandewar western regional assessment
The Brigalow and Nandewar region has experienced over 100 years of land use change, including widespread modifications to natural vegetation. The region lies at the heart of the sheep-wheat belt, and has contributed greatly to the State's economic development. The timber industry has been a vital part of this contribution, creating jobs and providing prosperity to small towns and centres in the region.
In 1999 The NSW Government initiated a regional assessment of western NSW to guide future planning and encourage partnerships to protect the environment. The Brigalow and Nandewar assessment was similar to the NSW forest assessments of coastal regions and reflected the National Forest Policy Statement, but also took into account the region's fragmented landscape. As well as considering forests, the assessment included studies of woodlands and rural areas.
The former Resource and Conservation Assessment Council (RACAC) coordinated the assessment, and involved key NSW agencies representing forests, conservation, planning, Aboriginal interests, minerals and natural resources. The assessment included detailed scientific analysis and consultation with timber operators, conservation groups, Aboriginal stakeholders, minerals and gas industries, local communities and local government.
The aim of the Brigalow and Nandewar assessments was to deliver:
adequate and complete core data layers to inform regional land use planning, conservation and resource management
enhanced partnerships between core agencies and interest groups concerned with natural resources and ecological sustainability, to increase sharing of information and to reduce duplication
the identification of a comprehensive, adequate and representative network of protected and managed areas
The NSW Government's decision in 2005 to conserve 350,000 hectares of woodlands in the Brigalow and Nandewar bioregions protected important conservation values in western NSW and ensured the long-term sustainability of the region's important timber, gas, minerals and apiary sectors.
Read project reports - Brigalow and Nandewar, and relevant legislation in the Brigalow and Nandewar Community Conservation Area Act 2005.
As a result of the Brigalow and Nandewar decision:
- Public lands containing high quality habitat for endangered species have been permanently protected in a Community Conservation Area.
- Three Community Conservation Advisory Committees have been established and are providing advice on a draft Community Conservation Area Agreement, to guide management of the area.
- Forests of cultural significance to Aboriginal people have been permanently protected and will be managed to support Aboriginal cultural heritage and cultural practices.
- A Community Conservation Area Agreement and an Integrated Forestry Operations Approval has been finalised.
- Up to 57,000 cubic metres of cypress pine per year will be available to the cypress industry operating in Brigalow and Nandewar as part of secure 20-year wood supply agreements. Additionally, up to 2050 cubic metres of ironbark sawlogs and fencing will be available, and other wood products such as firewood.
- The timber industry received long term security of supply through 20 year Wood Supply Agreements.
- An industry restructure program of around $48 million was provided to enable businesses and workers exiting the timber industry. This program included business exit assistance, timber worker assistance and industry development assistance and was used, for example, to transition to cypress thinning and the construction of a new Visitor and Information Centre in Baradine.
- A capital works program enabled establishment of the new parks and reserves, including a new visitor centre, Parks office and workshop at Baradine.
Also learn about the green firewood strategy in Brigalow and Nandewar.
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Page last updated: 09 November 2012