The Forest Practices Authority

Frequently asked questions

Forest practices system

What is forest?
What are trees?
What are forest practices?
How does the forest practices system regulate forestry?
What is the Forest Practices Code?
What is a Forest Practices Officer?
What approval do I need to carry out forest practices on my land?
Why do I need to get two approvals? Isn't this just doubling up?

Private timber reserves

What is a private timber reserve?
How can I get my land declared a private timber reserve?
How long will the declaration process take and what will it cost?
How can I find out if there is a private timber reserve registered on my land, my neighbour's land or land in my area?

Forest practices plans

What is a forest practices plan?
How do I know if I need a forest practices plan for forest practices on my land?
Do I need a forest practices plan to harvest firewood for my own use or to cut down a few trees on my land?
Do I need a forest practices plan to build a dam on my land?
What if I just want to clear the forest on my land and not carry out any further forestry?
What if I just want to clear trees for a new fence line or boundary line?
Do I need a forest practices plan if I want to clear regrowth on previously cleared and converted land?
Am I permitted to carry out timber harvesting in threatened native vegetation communities?
Do I need a forest practices plan if I want to clear trees or threatened native vegetation communities for a subdivision?
Do I need a forest practices plan if I want to harvest some treeferns?
How do I arrange a forest practices plan?
Which do I do first - the forest practices plan or the Development Application?
Whom   do I need to consult with about the forest practices plan and to whom   do I provide information about the forest practices plan?
How do I find out if there is a forest practices plan on land near me?
How much does it cost to get a forest practices plan or a Development Application approved?

Vulnerable land and conservation

What does vulnerable land mean?
What are threatened native vegetation communities?
How do I find out if I have any threatened species or threatened native vegetation communities on my land?
What if I want to carry out forest practices on land that has a threatened species on it?
What if I want to carry out forest practices on land that has a threatened native vegetation community on it?
What if I want to have my land placed under a conservation caveat?

Objections, appeals and complaints

How long does it take to get a forest practices plan or a Development Application approved?
What can I do if my forest practices plan is refused?
What happens if I get a forest practices plan approved, but the council does not approve my Development Application?
Can I object to a forest practices plan?
What if I want to object to a local government Development Application in my area?
How do I report on an alleged breach of a forest practices plan?
Can I object to a declaration of a private timber reserve?

More information

Whom can I contact if I have some more questions?

Forest practices system

What is forest?

A forest is an area containing trees (Forest Practices Act 1985).

What are trees?

A tree is any living or dead woody plant and includes seedlings and regrowth with a height or potential height of 5 metres or more. This includes native vegetation to Tasmania, trees introduced into Tasmania and used for processing or harvesting of timber and tree ferns.

What are forest practices?

Forest   practices include harvesting and regenerating native forest; harvesting and/or establishing plantations; clearing forests for other purposes;  clearing and converting threatened native vegetation; constructing roads and quarries for the above purposes; and harvesting treeferns (Forest Practices Act 1985).

How does the forest practices system regulate forestry?

The Forest Practices Authority (FPA) administers the forest practices system, set up under the Forest Practices Act 1985. Most forest practices require a forest practices plan (FPP) which must be prepared in accordance with the Forest Practices Code (the code). Specialists within the FPA carry out research to improve the code and provide advice on FPPs being prepared for forests with special   cultural and/or natural values. Forest Practices Officers (FPOs) prepare   FPPs and supervise the implementation of these plans. They submit certificates detailing the compliance of forest practices with the plan   to the FPA at the end of each stage of the FPP.

The FPA annually assesses a representative sample of FPPs. The FPA has powers to issue   notices, impose fines or take legal action to ensure compliance with the code. The forest practices system fosters a co-regulatory approach based on self-management by forest owners and the forest industry - the owners and the industry are responsible for ensuring that their forest practices comply with the code - and government regulation through the FPA.

What is the Forest Practices Code?

The code provides a set of legally enforceable guidelines and standards to   ensure reasonable protection of the natural and cultural values of the   forest during forest practices. The guidelines and standards in the code cover accessing the forest (roads, bridges, quarries, etc.); harvesting timber; conservation of natural and cultural values (soil and water, geomorphology, visual landscape, flora, fauna and cultural heritage); and establishing and maintaining forests. Download the code. The current process for the development, review and continual improvement of the provisions of the Forest Practices Code can be found here.

What is a Forest Practices Officer?

FPOs are employed directly by the forest industry or engaged as consultants   either by forest owners or the forest industry to prepare and supervise   FPPs. They are trained, authorised, directed and monitored by the FPA.   Selected FPOs are authorised by the FPA to certify FPPs. List of consultant FPOs
.

What approval do I need to carry out forest practices on my land?

If your land is a private timber reserve (PTR), you will generally need a certified FPP. If your land is not a PTR, you will generally need a certified FPP and in addition you will need to contact your council to see if you need to obtain a planning permit. Check the Forest Practices   Regulations to see if you need an FPP.

Why do I need to get two approvals? Isn't this just doubling up?

The two approvals for forestry on private land which is not a PTR are   approving different things. The local government approval is required to   ensure that the forest practices you are proposing are in accordance with the local council's planning scheme. The certified FPP is required   to ensure that the forest practices you are proposing are in accordance with the standards set by the state government in the Forest Practices Code. Forest practices within PTRs do not require further local government approval because these are exemptions within the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993.

Note that some forest practices may not require an FPP. Forestry can be an 'as of right' land use in certain zones in some planning schemes, in which case development approval from the council is not necessary.   Contact your council to find out about any specific approvals in regard   to the planning schemes they administer.

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Private timber reserves

What is a private timber reserve?

A PTR is an area of private land that is dedicated to forestry. Forest practices in PTRs do not require approval from the local council but do need a certified FPP. During the process of declaring land a PTR, the local council is consulted and the local government land use zoning taken into account. Private timber reserves give landowners long-term security that they will be able to manage their forests in the long term.

How can I get my land declared a private timber reserve?

You apply to Private Forests Tasmania who process the application on behalf of the FPA. The Board of the FPA approve or refuse the applications.

How long will the declaration process take and what will it cost?

The declaration process for PTRs can take between three and six months, depending upon whether or not there are any objections to the application. An application fee is payable. Contact Private Forests Tasmania for details.

How can I find out if there is a private timber reserve registered on my land, my neighbour's land or land in my area?

You can find out if land has a PTR on it from a title search and from maps via the LIST at <www.thelist.tas.gov.au>

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Forest practices plans

What is a forest practices plan?

FPPs contain prescriptions and a map detailing how the planned forest   practices will be conducted. FPPs must be prepared in accordance with   the Forest Practices Code and must be certified by an FPO before work starts.

How do I know if I need a forest practices plan for forest practices on my land?

Forest practices on all tenures require an FPP, except for a few exemptions. Please check the Forest Practices Regulations for full details.

Do I need a forest practices plan to harvest firewood for my own use or to cut down a few trees on my land?

The regulations about this are complex. Please check the Forest Practices Regulations for full details.

Do I need a forest practices plan to build a dam on my land?

Dam works authorised by a dam permit granted under the Water Management Act 1999 do not need an FPP.

What if I just want to clear the forest on my land and not carry out any further forestry?

This is defined as a forest practice and you will need to seek the same approvals as for any other forest practice. Check the Forest Practices Regulations
to see if the practice you propose is exempt from requiring an FPP.

What if I just want to clear trees for a new fence line or boundary line?

This is defined as a forest practice and you will need to seek the same approvals as for any other forest practice. Check the Forest Practices Regulations
to see if the practice you propose is exempt from requiring an FPP.

Do I need a forest practices plan if I want to clear regrowth on previously cleared and converted land?

Approval is not required to clear regrowth on previously cleared and converted   land, which is defined as land that has not contained trees or threatened native vegetation for a period of at least 5 years since 1985 and where the regrowth does not contain more than 20 eucalypts more than 2 metres in height within any 0.5 ha area.

Am I permitted to carry out timber harvesting in threatened native vegetation communities? Timber harvesting can take place in threatened native vegetation communities as long as the forest is regenerated to maintain the same forest  community into the future. A certified FPP is required for any harvesting and reforestation of trees.

Do I need a forest practices plan if I want to clear trees or threatened native vegetation communities for a subdivision?

Subdivsions are exempted from requiring a forest practices plan, but only where they have been authorised under a permit issued under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 199
3
. Check the Forest Practices Regulations for details.

Do I need a forest practices plan if I want to harvest some treeferns?

An FPP is required for all commercial harvesting of Dicksonia antarctica. Salvage harvesting of Dicksonia is only permitted in areas scheduled for intensive harvesting and reforestation operations (e.g. clearfall operations or similar, excluding any informal reserves) and there is a certified FPP with a prescription for Dicksonia harvesting. Tasmanian treefern tags must be obtained from the FPA and attached to the trunk of all harvested   ferns at the point of harvest.

An FPP is not required for harvesting Dicksonia if the landowner has consented, no more than six treeferns are   harvested on each property during one calendar year, the land is not   defined as vulnerable and the Dicksonia are not for commercial purposes.

How do I arrange a forest practices plan?

The FPA website has a list of consultant FPOs who you can contract to prepare an FPP.

Which do I do first - the forest practices plan or the Development Application?

Most people who wish to carry out forest practices on private land that is not a PTR prepare an FPP first and then submit a Development Application. Once local government approval has been given, a certified   FPP must be in place before any forest practices can commence.

Whom do I need to consult with about the forest practices plan and to whom   do I provide information about the forest practices plan?

Relevant information within FPPs should be made available to interested parties by the landowner in an effective and efficient manner. The landowner must also inform neighbours and the local council about planned forest practices - as defined in the Forest Practices Code under Operational planning - forest practices plans. The FPA has a policy on communication of information in relation to FPPs.

How do I find out if there is a forest practices plan on land near me? Check the state-wide map of certified FPPs
on this web site.

How much does it cost to get a forest practices plan or a Development Application approved?

This depends on the complexity of the planned forest practices. FPOs charge a daily rate for the preparation of an FPP, which may take about five to ten days to prepare. There is a statutory fee for lodging FPPs with the FPA, which varies according to the class of plan. There are also fees   for submitting Development Applications to local councils. Contact your   council to find out about these.

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Vulnerable land and conservation

What does vulnerable land mean?

Vulnerable land is land which is within a stream side reserve, is steep, is very   erodible, consists of or contains a threatened native vegetation   community, is inhabited by a threatened species, contains sensitive   karst (limestone or dolomite) soils, contains areas of forest reserved   under an earlier FPP, or contains rare, vulnerable or endangered forest   communities. For more information see Land clearing information sheet.

What are threatened native vegetation communities?

The threatened native vegetation communities are listed in the Nature Conservation Act 2002. Clearance and conversion of these communities is generally not   approved, unless exceptional circumstances exist. Harvesting and regeneration as native forest is permitted.

How do I find out if I have any threatened species or threatened native vegetation communities on my land?

Information sheets are available on the FPA website to assist landholders in determining whether they have any threatened native vegetation communities on their land. FPOs assess the potential for threatened species and threatened   native vegetation communities in the process of preparing an FPP and specialists from the FPA will provide expert advice.

What if I want to carry out forest practices on land that has a threatened species on it?

You will need an FPP if you are planning forest practices where threatened  species or their habitats are present. The specialists at the FPA are consulted if there are threatened species to consider in an FPP. The Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 also obliges local councils to take into account activities that may threaten listed species or critical habitat when considering a Development Application. If you have threatened species present on your land, the forest practices you can carry out may be restricted.

What if I want to carry out forest practices on land that has a threatened native vegetation community on it?

Land which consists of or contains a threatened native vegetation community (TNVC) cannot generally be cleared and converted. Forest practices which have an FPP and result in the natural regeneration of the TNVC are permitted.

What if I want to have my land placed under a conservation caveat?

If  you are interested in taking further steps to ensure the survival of the threatened species or threatened native vegetation communities on your land, you could consider entering into a conservation covenant.

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Objections, appeals and complaints

How long does it take to get a forest practices plan or a Development Application approved?

This  depends on the complexity of the planned forest practices but you   should allow at least one to two months. Councils must complete the process of determining a Development Application within 42 days, unless the 'clock has been stopped' because more information is required.

What can I do if my forest practices plan is refused?

You can appeal to the Forest Practices Tribunal against the refusal of an FPP. However, you cannot undertake any forest practices unless an FPP is certified.

What happens if I get a forest practices plan approved, but the council does not approve my Development Application?

You can appeal to the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal   against the refusal of a Development Application. However, you cannot proceed with any clearing or harvesting unless approval is given.

Can I object to a forest practices plan?

There  is no formal mechanism for objecting to an FPP if forest practices are carried out in accordance with a certified FPP. However, you should raise any concerns directly through the applicant or forest company (see the Good Neighbour Charter) and lodge any complaints with the FPA.

What if I want to object to a local government Development Application in my area?

You can lodge an objection to a Development Application if it is defined as a 'discretionary' use in the planning scheme. There are no public opportunities to object to permitted uses.

How do I report on an alleged breach of a forest practices plan?

Notify the FPA, preferably in writing, giving details about the nature of the alleged breach and its location.

Can I object to a declaration of a private timber reserve?

You can object to the declaration of a PTR if you are a neighbour or one of the other prescribed people or institutions listed in the Forest Practices Act 1985.

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More information

Whom can I contact if I have some more questions?

Your local council should be your first port of call on matters relating to planning schemes. Queries on the forest practices system can normally be answered by information on this web site. If you have searched the web site and still have a query, please contact the FPA.

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Content last modified April 4, 2016, 4:13 pm