The Victorian Government has introduced a $14 million package that will focus on upholding environmental standards in timber harvesting, including by:
- providing increased clarity for meeting obligations under the precautionary principle through compliance standards, and
- furthering best practice regeneration of timber harvesting coupes.
The Victorian Government will invest in a $14 million package to enhance regulatory certainty and environmental outcomes following timber harvesting.
This includes $2.38 million to establish best practice procedures for the long-term management of regenerated timber harvesting coupes and their reintegration to DELWP’s broader, active management of state forests.
What will the funding provide?
Regenerating forests after timber harvesting is a critical part of ecologically sustainable forest management of Victorian forests as we transition away from timber harvesting by 2030.
The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) will develop a new best practice Forest Coupe Regeneration and Reintegration Procedure.
The procedure will:
- clarify regeneration practices, and handback procedures, including a role for the DELWP Secretary in the removal of regenerated coupes from the Timber Release Plan
- strengthen land manger oversight of regeneration activities including confirmation that regeneration has occurred to the standards required in the Code of Practice for Timber Production
- establish confirmation of coupe regeneration before a coupe is removed from the Timber Release Plan, and land management responsibility transfers from VicForests to DELWP
- establish steps for reintegrating the finalised coupes into DELWP’s management of the broader State forest estate, and
- specify active forest management approaches to protect the environmental condition of these sites, supporting the many forest values that Victorians enjoy.
What does it mean for our forests?
Victoria’s forests are among the most ecologically diverse in Australia. Victorians value their forests for many reasons and are interested in their future.
State forests face significant challenges from climate change, more frequent fires, population growth, and changing community needs. These multiple pressures need to be managed alongside timber harvesting operations, until the end of native forest harvesting in 2030.
DELWP, in partnership with Traditional Owners and other land managers, actively manages the State’s forests to enable these regenerated coupes to continue providing their many forest values for Victorians into the future.
Ecologically sustainable forest management enables a range of forest uses, including timber harvesting operations, to occur whilst retaining and protecting forest values. A key part of this is regeneration of timber coupes when harvesting is complete.
Obligations for regeneration apply to VicForests. After the coupe is regenerated, it is then managed as part of the broader forest estate by DELWP.
This initiative will improve processes across all stages of regeneration activities. This will include communication of coupe finalisation and reintegration into DELWP’s land management responsibilities, and the systems and operations that are appropriate to support regenerated coupes.
This will provide for healthier forests through better regeneration and management systems. Healthier forests will continue to support the many benefits Victorians derive from forests.
Victorians depend on the ecosystems forests provide for example water filtration, biomass, retention of soil and carbon and opportunities for recreation and tourism.
Page last updated: 15/07/22