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Proposed Variations on Code of practice for forestry - Call for Submissions

Proposed revisions to the Code of Practice for Forestry in Victoria Australia could adversely impact Victoria's threatened species. As many candobetter.net readers know, the Victorian Auditor General found last year that Victoria has utterly failed in its objectives under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1986) to measure and protect unique species from threat and endangerment. These changes also follow Environment East Gippsland's historic win in court against VicForests last year, where EEG sought protection under this Act for endangered species. With these changes, loggers could seek exemptions from state environment laws protecting endangered species. Victorians (and people all over the world) need to be aware of these proposed changes and to make comments. You can make a submission via this article

Main Points

According to comments reported in the Age, 3 November 2011:

The Secretary of the Department of Sustainability and Environment would be able to exempt a logging project from the requirements of the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, which protects the state's endangered and threatened species.

"The proposed changes follow a landmark ruling in the Supreme Court last year banning VicForests from logging old-growth forest at Brown Mountain in East Gippsland, after an endangered long-footed potoroo was filmed in an area to be felled."

"The secretary will consider, among other things, the numbers required to maintain a viable population of a listed species in the area to be logged, and the amount of habitat near the proposed coupe already protected in national parks."

''The objective of the variations is to achieve a better balance between the protection of threatened species and sustainable timber production from public native forests.'' Source: Tom Arup, "New state law in the pipeline to aid loggers."

How to make a submission and how to get more information on-line

The Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007 (the Code) is a key regulatory instrument that applies to commercial timber production in both public and private native forests and plantations in Victoria. It is a statutory document prepared under Part 5 of the Conservation, Forests and Lands Act 1987. Compliance is required under the Sustainable Forest (Timber) Act 2004 and via its incorporation into the Victoria Planning Provisions.


The purpose of the Code is to ensure that commercial timber growing and timber harvesting operations are carried out on both public land and private land in such a way that:

  • permits an economically viable, internationally competitive, sustainable timber industry
  • is compatible with the conservation of the wide range of environmental, social and cultural values associated with timber production forests
  • provides for the ecologically sustainable management of native forests proposed for continuous timber production
  • enhances public confidence in the management of Victoria's forests and plantations for timber production.

Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007

[PDF File - 2.1 MB]

Proposed variations to the Code of Practice for timber production (October 2011)

Members of the public are invited to provide comment on a number of proposed variations to the Code of Practice for timber production to improve certainty of timber supply to the native forest timber industry, while balancing the needs of the environment.

Document explaining the proposed variations

The following document outlines the proposed variations to the Code of Practice for timber production.

Proposed variation to the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007

[PDF File - 162.3 KB]
Proposed variation to the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2007

[MS Word Document - 60.0 KB]

If you have problems downloading this document, please contact the Customer Service Centre on 136 186 for assistance.

Summary

The proposed variations change the wording in relation to the application of Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statements. This aims to introduce more flexibility and allow further consideration of the importance of Victoria’s national parks and conservation reserves in the protection of threatened species.

The variations will improve the focus of conservation for threatened flora and fauna species to be applied at landscape level, and allow for a reduced focus at the individual animal or plant level.

Factors needing to be considered by the Secretary to the Department of Sustainability and Environment in determining the application of a Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement are also being considered for inclusion in the Code.

Submission of comments

Anyone interested in making a submission on the proposed variations should provide their comments to DSE in writing by:

Mail:

Review of the Code of Practice for Timber Production

Forests and Parks Division

Department of Sustainability and Environment

PO Box 500

East Melbourne, VIC, 3002

Email:

Forestry.Code@dse.vic.gov.au

Closing date: submissions must be provided by Wednesday 1 February 2012. Submissions received after this time may not be able to be considered.

Compliance with the Code of Practice

The department ensures that all timber harvesting operations are undertaken in compliance with relevant legislation and with the Code of Practice. Find out more about timber harvesting compliance.



Related Links

The Code refers to various laws and policies that may be subject to change. Links to state policies and other information relevant to the Code are provided below.

Please note: Document(s) on this page are presented in PDF format. If you do not have the Adobe Reader, you can download a copy free from the Adobe web site.

Comments

There is never any BALANCE when it become a choice between protecting endangered species or profits from timber logging, land clearing for agriculture and housing "developments". That's why species are endangered in the first place. Humans always give themselves the highest priority, not for survival but for promotion of profits and income.
What weight do native species get on the scales that determine what BALANCE there is between timber harvesting and possums, koalas, and potaroos, not to mention the vast array of biodiversity beyond mammals?
The DSE are meant to be the protectors and legislators to protect our native forests and animals from clearing, destruction and profiteering, not be partners with the perpetrators. There is no balance!
It's the proverbial FOX in charge of the CHICKENS!
Victoria is going backwards, by driving endangered species further towards extinction in the country with the highest mammal extinction rate in the world.
We have Baillieu's support for coal seam mining, cattle in the Alpine national park, abandonment of greenhouse gas reduction targets to "aspirations", freeways and roads, mining, and pushing more people into energy-dependent and energy -guzzling lifestyles in high rise housing.
State PLANNING is about enforcing higher density housing, population growth, rather than a balance between environmental values, food and climate security, and economic growth.
The State government is using their power to overcome forest protectors and the Supreme Court that is holding up logging in Toolangi old growth forests where some of the last Leadbeaters Possums are hiding. They are trashing our policies and laws to protect native animals, and making mockery of our environmental Acts by undemocratically by-passing them.
They MUST be voted out in the next State elections!

here here!