To ensure that future forest management delivers the highest and best value uses of our forests for Victorian communities it is essential that the modernisation process addresses community needs.

The RFA Reference Group comprised representatives of key organisations with diverse community interests including Traditional Owner, environment, industry and recreation groups. The Group enabled a diverse range of community interests to be discussed and considered in providing its strategic advice on potential changes to the Victorian RFAs.

General recommendations in the Regional Forest Agreements Reference Group Report of Advice:

  • Accountability mechanisms need to be strengthened to be effective in holding both governments to account for implementation and outcomes
  • All values, users and uses – should adopt an ‘all values, all uses’ approach which is at the centre of decision-making
  • Genuine co-design and support for Traditional Owner management of country
  • Define ‘multiple use’ to mean holistic and integrated approaches, not simply ‘taking turns’ or compartmentalising individual uses
  • Integrated management and planning should be a core tenet of the updated RFAs and central to all forest allocation and management decisions
  • Have regard to the impact and uncertainty of climate change and be adaptive to ensure forests are resilient, healthy and functioning
  • Enhance monitoring and data collection to support effective implementation and enable informed long-term decisions about the forests

The Report is structured around the following themes:

  • Review and Accountability
  • Forest Management System
  • Environment Protections
  • Timber Industry Development
  • Other Forest Values and Uses
  • Traditional Owner Rights and Partnership

Advice from the RFA Reference Group is informing modernised Victorian Regional Forest Agreements.

Report of Advice and Meeting Communiques

Summaries of key points of discussion at RFA Reference Group meetings and a Report of Advice have been made available by the Chair:

Frequently Asked Questions

The role of the Reference Group was to represent diverse community interests in providing an independent report of advice on potential changes to the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements.

Stakeholders from key organisations were invited to participate in the RFA Reference Group and comprised:

  • Jane Brockington, Independent Chair
  • Johnathan La Nauze, Environment Victoria
  • Mike Nurse, Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners
  • Wayne Hevey, Four Wheel Drive Victoria
  • Andrew Knight, Outdoors Victoria
  • Amelia Young, The Wilderness Society
  • Ian Cane, Victorian Apiarists Association
  • Tim Johnston, Victorian Association of Forest Industries

The Group comprised members from diverse community interests. As indicated in the Report of advice, whilst members agreed on several points there was divergence of opinion.

DELWP is working with Traditional Owners to build meaningful and enduring partnerships according to self-determination principles. Traditional Owners have met with the Victorian Government to discuss modernised Victorian RFAs.   

DELWP is considering expert advice such as that from the RFA Reference Group and the Scientific Advisory Panel, comprehensive assessments of forest values, latest science, and contemporary community values to help understand how to better care for and manage Victoria’s forests, to enable the highest and best value forest uses for Victorians.

RFA Reference Group Members

The reference group comprises representatives from the following member organisations:

  • Environment Victoria
  • Federation of Victorian Traditional Owners
  • Four Wheel Drive Victoria
  • Outdoors Victoria
  • The Wilderness Society
  • Victorian Apiarists Association
  • Victorian Association of Forest Industries

Jane Brockington was appointed as independent chairperson of the RFA Reference Group. With more than 20 years’ experience working with boards, governance bodies and executive teams, Jane has successfully established and transformed organisations, developed and delivered policy, and implemented reform.

Environment Victoria

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Environment Victoria is an independent charity campaigning to solve the climate crisis and build a thriving, sustainable society that protects and values nature.

Jonothan La Nauze (Chief Executive Officer) will represent Environment Victoria.

Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations

Logo for Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations

The Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations provides a collective voice for Traditional Owners to self-determine their future, allowing Traditional Owners to be strong on Country and leading the political, economic and cultural landscape.

Marcus Stewart (Chief Executive Officer) will represent the Federation of Victorian Traditional Owner Corporations.

Four Wheel Drive Victoria

Logo for Four Wheel Drive Victoria

Four Wheel Drive Victoria is the peak body representing four-wheel drive interests in Victoria.  Adopting the mantra of "driving in a sustainable environment", Four Wheel Drive Victoria has established itself in the modern four-wheel drive environment having regard to the interest of protecting and caring for the land in which their members tour, supporting the communities through which they travel and contributing to the State's economic wealth.

Wayne Hevey (Chief Executive Officer) will represent Four Wheel Drive Victoria.

Outdoors Victoria

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Representing the Outdoors Sector of Victoria, Outdoors Victoria support the people and organisations dedicated to facilitating sustainable, respectful outdoors experiences.

Andrew Knight (Chief Executive Officer) will represent Outdoors Victoria.

The Wilderness Society

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The Wilderness Society is an independent company that campaigns, organises, and fundraises for conservation, climate change and changing the conversation about nature.

Amelia Young (Victorian Campaigns Manager) will represent the Wilderness Society.

Victorian Apiarists' Association

Logo of Victorian Apiarists Association

The Victorian Apiarists Association (VAA) is the peak beekeeping body for Victoria. The VAA negotiates with government bodies to ensure beekeepers best interests are always being considered in policy decisions at federal, state, and local council levels.

Ian Cane (Committee Member) will represent the Victorian Apiarists’ Association.

Victorian Association of Forest Industries

Logo of the Victorian Association of Forest Industries

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries Inc (VAFI) is the peak body for the Victorian forest, fibre and wood products industry.  VAFI represents the entire lifecycle of forestry products, including forest growers, harvest and haul businesses, wood and paper processors, and associated businesses across both the native forest and plantations sectors.

Tim Johnston (Chief Executive Officer) will represent the Victorian Association of Forest Industries.

Page last updated: 01/04/20