Regional Forest Agreements

Our native forest regulations need to move with the times

Monday, July 20, 2015

Originally published at: 

The aftermath of a regen burn at a central highlands logging coupe

The RFAs governing forestry activities have failed to protect both the industry and the environment, says Rice. Credit: ABC Environment

The rules governing our native forests, RFAs, were drawn up nearly 20 years ago. They need to be thoroughly reviewed and updated to reflect the changes in the forestry industry that have occurred in the last two decades.

Life after the RFA

Monday, April 27, 2015

Since the East Gippsland RFA was signed in February 1997, we have seen:

  • licences issued for unlimited woodchip exports from the region
  • a five year permanent blockade of the Goolengook heritage listed old growth forest. Hundreds of people were arrested. Politically and financially this was costly to the government and what remained was eventually protected.
  • areas which have previously been identified by the government as having national and state significance for biological values have been logged.

Forestry agreements need a full overhaul, not just a tick and flick

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Originally published at: 

Regional Forest Agreements were supposed to give certainty to both loggers and conservationists. But they haven’t. Pengo/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY

For almost two decades, the management of forests in parts of Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and New South Wales has been underpinned by state and federal Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs), defined as “20-year plans for the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s native forests”.

The broad aim of RFAs is to “provide certainty for forest-based industries, forest-dependent communities and conservation”. RFAs are now up for renewal, and it would certainly be in industry advocates' interest for them to be simply “ticked off”, without the critical scrutiny that is clearly warranted.

The RFAs need to be fully reviewed, not just renewed, because they have had highly perverse outcomes – rather than helping to ease environmental problems, the agreements have actually worsened them in some cases.

Newman Govt - opens up Qld to logging!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

industrial rainforest species

Queensland was the only state that managed to do away with their clearfelling of native forests as a result of the RFA. It also has no woodchip industry, but Campbell Newman now wants both by the looks.

The Queensland govt gave the go ahead in February to log almost 2 million hectares of forest and woodlands previously excluded from logging!

How much can one forest bare?

Friday, March 3, 2006

The Tambo or Gippsland forests, north of Bairnsdale, first suffered a 700% increase in woodchipping after its RFA was signed in 2000. On top of that, they were burnt in the 2003 fires and have been "salvage" logged at eight times the legally sustainable yield level since then.