Review of regional forest agreements
The New South Wales (NSW) and Commonwealth of Australia governments made the regional forest agreements (RFAs) for three NSW regions - Eden, North East and Southern - in 1999, 2000 and 2001 respectively. The RFAs identify areas required for a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system. They provide for the conservation of these areas, for ecologically sustainable management and use of forests, and for the long-term stability of forest industries.
An important element of each of the NSW RFAs is the requirement for a five–yearly review of the performance of the RFAs. The purpose of the review is to provide an assessment of progress of the agreements against established milestones, and includes:
- the extent to which milestones and obligations have been met, including management of the National Estate
- the results of monitoring of sustainability indicators, and
- invited public comment on the performance of the agreement.
(NE RFA clause 40, Southern RFA and Eden RFA clauses 38)
A scoping agreement was prepared to manage the review process and is available on the Australian Government five–yearly review web page. There are clear limitations on the scope and purpose of the RFA review, including that the review will not revisit previous decisions.
Documents under review
The five-yearly review involves all three NSW RFAs:
- Regional forest agreement for the Eden region
- Regional forest agreement for the North East region
- Regional forest agreement for the Southern region
Draft Report on Progress of the RFAs
In 2009, public comments were invited on a Draft Report on Progress with Implementation of the New South Wales RFAs (09200draftrfa.pdf, 2.5MB). The draft report provided:
background information on the RFAs,
an outline of the key changes impacting the RFAs,
detailed consideration of progress against the milestones contained in the RFAs, and
the results of monitoring of sustainability Indicators.
31 submissions were received. Some of these are publicly available on the Commonwealth Government website.
Independent assessor's report
An independent assessor was appointed to review the Draft Report and public submissions. The independent assessor's report - Final Report on Progress with Implementation of NSW Regional Forest Agreements: Report of Independent Assessor (assessors-report.pdf, 444KB) - was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 15 March 2010.
The report makes 18 recommendations on the NSW RFAs. The NSW Government is now working with the Commonwealth Government on a response to the independent assessor's recommendations. The response to the recommendations will be made available on this website following tabling in federal parliament.
For further background on the RFAs and comprehensive regional assessments visit the Commonwealth Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
The review of RFAs is separate from the review of NSW forest agreements and integrated forestry operations approvals.
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Page last updated: 08 March 2013