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Forest Practices Authority

The forest practices system

The forest practices system applies everywhere in Tasmania, on both public and private forests. It applies to native forest, plantations and threatened non-forest vegetation communities.

What are forest practices?

Forest practices are:

  • harvesting and regenerating native forest
  • harvesting and/or establishing plantations
  • clearing forests for other purposes, including agriculture
  • clearing and converting threatened native vegetation communities
  • constructing roads and quarries for the above purposes
  • harvesting treeferns.

FPS diagram

How does the forest practices system work?

The system is based on co-regulation through industry self-management and our independent monitoring and enforcement.

  • Legal and policy framework: we administer legislation, regulations and policies which set the standards of the forest practices system.
  • Training and education: we train people working in the forest industry to recognise forest values and apply the standards of the forest practices system, such as the Forest Practices Code.
  • Delegated authority: we authorise Forest Practices Officers (FPOs) employed in the forest industry to inspect forest operations and conduct investigations where necessary. Some FPOs have delegated authority to consider forest practices plans for certification.
  • Planning: we provide specialist planning advice to ensure that forest practices plans comply with standards.
  • Implementation: FPOs supervise the operations under the forest practices plan and issue a certificate of compliance on completion of each stage of the operation and on completion of operations.
  • Independent monitoring and enforcement: we conduct annual audits of a sample of current forest practices plans and we investigate alleged breaches of the Forest Practices Act 1985 or Forest Practices Code to make sure that standards are being met. We have the power to require remedial works, issue fines or prosecute in the courts if standards are not being met.
  • Reporting and engagement: we produce statutory reports and engage with stakeholders formally and informally.
  • Research, review and improvement: we carry out research and effectiveness monitoring to continually improve the system.
  • Appeals: the Forest Practices Tribunal provides an independent appeal process.

The objective of the forest practices system

The aim of the forest practices system is the sustainable management of public and private forests with care for the environment in a way that is as self-funding as possible. This includes:

  • an emphasis on self-regulation
  • planning before forest operations
  • delegated and decentralised approvals for forest practices plans and other forest practices matters
  • a Forest Practices Code which provides practical standards for forest management, timber harvesting and other forest operations
  • an emphasis on consultation and education
  • an emphasis on research, review and continuing improvement
  • conserving threatened native vegetation communities
  • provision for rehabilitating land in cases where the Forest Practices Code is contravened
  • an independent appeal process
  • providing private landowners with the ability to protect their forest resources by declaring them private timber reserves.

Why do we need a forest practices system?

Forest management in Tasmania aims to protect the forest for future generations to enjoy, while satisfying today’s demands for forest products and services. The challenge for forest managers is to balance these values through sustainable forest management.

There are three primary elements to achieving sustainable forest management in Tasmania:

  • a comprehensive, adequate and representative forest reserve system: almost half of Tasmania is native forest, and 58 per cent of that is reserved
  • a permanent native forest estate: we implement and report on this through the forest practices system
  • regulating forest practices: we apply the forest practices system across Tasmania.

More information

View the current State of the Forests report (PDF)