Victorians have been asked to have a say on the state’s five Regional Forest Agreements, which set the framework for balancing conservation with sustainable harvesting of native forests.
The Australian and Victorian Governments released a draft report on Thursday for public comment.
It reviews progress with implementing agreements for the East Gippsland, the Central Highlands, North East, Gippsland and Western Victoria RFA regions.
Victorian Environment and Climate Change Minister Gavin Jennings said the report showed the progress achieved against the commitments in the Victorian RFAs during the review periods.
“The agreements between the Victorian and Australian governments aim to strike the right balance between providing timber resources and jobs, and protecting Victoria’s significant forest ecosystems,” Mr Jennings said.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Tony Burke said the RFAs were central to the sustainable management of Australia’s forests and forestry industries.
“Regional Forest Agreements are the cornerstone of our national forest policy,” Mr Burke said.
“They have already provided certainty to our forest industries, timber workers and the regional communities who depend on forestry.
“The RFAs with Victoria have been in place for a decade now. So it’s timely that both the agreements themselves, and progress towards the mutually-agreed goals they contain, get some rigorous analysis from the community, government and industry,” Mr Burke said.
The draft report and community submissions will go to an independent reviewer who will provide a formal report to the Victorian and Australian Governments.
To make a submission or to view the report, go to www.dse.vic.gov.au/forests.
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