Native timber harvesting in Victoria’s state forests ended 1 January 2024.

As a result, Victoria will be home to an area of native forest that is protected from logging that is larger than the entire land mass of Tasmania.

The end of native timber harvesting is an opportunity to establish new ways of caring for our forests into the future. This includes managing forests for community needs and supporting Traditional Owners to heal and care for Country.

Help shape the future of Victorian forests

Victorians will be asked about their views on the future of how state forests are managed. This includes the 1.8 million hectares of State forests subject to the timber harvesting allocation order.

An advisory panel will be appointed to consult widely with Victorians. It will make recommendations to the Government on the:

  • areas of our forests that qualify for protection as National Parks
  • areas of our forests that would be suitable for recreation opportunities, including camping, hunting, hiking, mountain biking and four-wheel driving
  • opportunities for the management of public land by Traditional Owners.

Government is still considering the constitution of this Panel.

Help shape the future management of Central Highland State forests

The Eminent Panel for Community Engagement, established in 2021 to consider future use of Immediate Protection Areas, will continue its role and run an engagement process to help determine the future use and management of Central Highlands State forests.

Read the latest information on the Eminent Panel’s work.

The process includes:

  • The Victorian Environmental Assessment Council (VEAC) identifying values of State forests and suitable land categories that align with these values.
  • Community engagement being undertaken by the Eminent Panel for Community Engagement. The Eminent Panel will provide recommendations to government on future use of the Immediate Protection Area and adjacent State forests within the Central Highlands Regional Forest Agreement area.
  • Partnering with Traditional Owners, who have formal membership on the Eminent Panel.

Map showing the Mirboo North and Strathbogie Ranges Immediate Protection Areas

The Eminent Panel’s report for Mirboo North and Strathbogie Ranges Immediate Protection Areas was completed in 2022. The Victorian Government is currently considering its response.

Page last updated: 22/03/24