Topic: Sustainable & Renewable
The Tasmanian forest practices system explained
Around half of Tasmania is forested and almost 60 per cent of this forest is reserved. Some of the forests outside these reserves are managed for production forestry through Australia’s most comprehensive forestry regulatory system.
The forest practices system applies to forest practices that are undertaken on both public and private land in all forest types and threatened non-forest vegetation.
This system requires reasonable protection of natural and cultural values during forest practices, and effective reforestation where forest cover is to be maintained, to optimise the benefit to current and future generations.
Forest practices, defined by the Forest Practices Act, are:
- harvesting native forests and plantations
- establishing native forests and plantations
- clearing and converting forests and threatened non-forest native vegetation communities
- constructing roads and quarries for the above purposes
- harvesting tree-ferns.
The Forest Practices Authority (FPA) is the independent statutory body established by the Parliament of Tasmania under the Forest Practices Act 1985 (the Act) to regulate forest practices in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian forest practices system operates primarily through the Act and the associated Forest Practices Code (the Code). The system also takes account of other legislation and policies, including the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement 1997 (RFA) and the Policy for Maintaining a Permanent Native Forest Estate (PNFE Policy).
The system is based on a co-regulatory approach, combining self-management by the industry and independent monitoring and enforcement by the FPA. Forest Practices Officers (FPOs) are employed within the industry and trained and authorised by the FPA to plan, supervise, monitor and report on forest practices.
FPA staff provide advice on regulatory and technical matters, including requirements to manage natural and cultural values. The FPA also monitors forest practices to ensure that standards are being met. Corrective action is taken where required and penalties are imposed for serious breaches.
The forest practices system aims to foster cooperation amongst all stakeholders, including the government, landowners, the forest industry and the broader community. There is an emphasis on planning, training, education and continuous improvement.