Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement Progress on the Implementation of the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement 1 July 2008 - 30 June 2009

Jointly prepared by the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments

Progress Report

1 July 2008– 30 June 2009

Introduction

Regional Forest Agreements (RFA) are separate Agreements between the Commonwealth Government and the State Governments of NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. Based on good science and extensive consultation, the Agreements set out broad strategies to achieve a balance between conservation and a sustainable and competitive forest industry. The Agreements are in place for 20 years.

Tasmania is covered in a single RFA. The then Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP, and the then Premier of Tasmania, the Hon Anthony Rundle MHA, signed the Tasmanian RFA on 8 November 1997.

The Tasmanian RFA requires annual reporting on implementation during the first four years and thereafter as part of five-yearly formal reviews, to report progress against milestones.

On 13 May 2005 the then Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard MP, and the then Premier of Tasmania, the Hon Paul Lennon MP, signed the Supplementary Tasmanian RFA known as the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement (TCFA).

Then Ministers, Senator the Hon Ian Macdonald and the Hon Bryan Green MP, subsequently agreed that the Governments would jointly prepare a progress report of achievements against milestones and commitments contained in the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement until 2010.

This is the fourth progress report for the TCFA and provides details on the achievement of milestones under the TCFA for the period 1 July 2008 to 30 June 2009.

Details of progress prior to 1 July 2008 are provided in the first three progress reports.

Progress on Implementation of Agreed Commitments and Milestones

 

Clause

 

Commitment

Milestone

Progress with Implementation in 2007-08

3

The Parties to fully implement the actions recommended in the Report of the Inquiry on the progress with Implementation of the Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (2002), subject to the exception outlined in clause 5

No date

The recommended actions have either been fully implemented or are continuing to be implemented. A detailed report on each action was provided as part of the Second Five Yearly Review undertaken in 2007.

The TCFA has superseded some of the recommended actions.

5

Recovery Plans will continue to be the mechanism for compliance with the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

No date

The Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments are progressing 13 new recovery plans for EPBC Act listed species associated with Tasmanian forests.

A number of these are multi-species plans.

6

The Parties to protect one million hectares of old growth forest – 977,000 hectares on public land.

A minimum of 25,000 hectares will be protected on private land by the Commonwealth to add to the 5,000 hectares already protected under the RFA Private Forest Reserves Program.

No date

The area of RFA old growth forest protected in formal and informal reserves on public land at 30 June 2009 was 977,000 ha, an increase of 2,900 ha from June 2008. This increase mostly is a result of the continuing enlargement of the informal reserve system on State forest through application of the forest practices system to protect environmental and heritage values as they are discovered.

Note: The area of protected old growth forest reported in the 2007-08 annual report was larger. This was due to including 3,900 hectares of old growth forest on unallocated Crown land protected by virtue of clause 14 as part of the reserve system. This area is excluded from the protected area in this report as it is not yet land that is included in the CAR reserve system. It will be when the reservation referred to in clause 14 has been completed.

See clause 21 for progress on protecting old growth forest on private land.

7

The Parties to add approximately 141,000 hectares of public land to the CAR Reserve System

June 2006

The Tasmanian Government added 146,800 hectares of public land to the CAR reserve system arising from the TCFA prior to 1 July 2006.

The TCFA commitment to add 141,000 hectares to the CAR reserve system included 1400 hectares of Hydro Tasmania private land is yet to be completed (see clause 15).

Approximately 500 hectares of Commonwealth land has been protected by the Department of Defence (see clause 13).

8

The Parties agree that all additional protected areas on public land will remain available for mineral exploration and mining under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995 in accordance with clause 79 of the RFA and subject to any requirements under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

No date

Completed in 2005-06.

All of the new reserves on public land are available for mineral exploration and mining under the Mineral Resources Development Act 1995.

9

The State to finalise the boundaries of the new reserves, with the exception of Commonwealth owned land, at a scale of 1:25,000.

June 2006

Completed in 2005-06.

10

The State to submit plans of new Formal Reserves to Parliament for approval

June 2006

Completed in 2005-06.

11

The State to finalise informal reserve boundaries and identify on Management Decision Classification maps and manage these areas for protection of CAR values, subject to field verification of the existence and extent of those values.

June 2006

Completed in 2005-06.

12

The State to progressively amend Forest Management Plans to include new Formal and Informal reserves

June 2008

The Tasmanian Minister for Resources and Energy approved the Sustainability Charter: Forest Management Plan 2008, which came into effect from 1 November 2008. The plan is available from http://www.forestrytas.com.au/sfm/sustainability-charter.

13

The Commonwealth to protect approximately 500 hectares of Commonwealth owned land as informal reserves. These reserves will be included in new or revised management plans prepared with public participation.

30 June 2009

The Commonwealth Government Department of Defence has incorporated this additional area into environmental management planning systems for the Buckland Military Training Area, and plans are being finalised for these informal reserves incorporating information from key stakeholders. This is being done in conjunction with the Tasmanian Government.

The Department of Defence management of these areas is addressed through existing frameworks including the Department’s Tasmanian Environmental Management System, Fire Management Plans (currently being reviewed) and other subsidiary plans, Environmental Sections of Range Standing Orders, and the Defence Environmental Clearance Certificate processes.

14

The State to protect 3900 hectares of old growth forest on unallocated Crown land pending completion of the Crown Land Assessment and Classification Project

No date

All identified areas of old growth forest on unallocated Crown land are being managed for protection pending implementation of the outcomes of the Crown Land Assessment and Classification (CLAC) project.

The CLAC assessment has been completed with more than 107,000 hectares of unallocated Crown land and Public Reserves including nearly 6,000 separate parcels being assessed. Of this, some 78,600 hectares have been recommended for reservation under the Nature Conservation Act 2002 and a further 14,200 hectares recommended to be reserved (or retained) as Public Reserves under the Crown Lands Act 1976. The Tasmanian Government has accepted the recommendations of the assessment and is further considering issues concerning management arrangements arising from the recommendations.

The Tasmanian Government will seek to complete implementation of this commitment during 2009-10.

15

The State to protect 3500 hectares of old growth forest on Hydro Tasmania vested land pending a review of Hydro Tasmania’s infrastructure management needs. Old growth forest on land not required by Hydro Tasmania to be protected.

Post Hydro review

Hydro Tasmania is protecting all identified areas of old growth forest on Crown land vested to Hydro Tasmania pending the finalisation of the review of Hydro Tasmania’s land requirements, which has been completed. Boundaries of areas to be divested have been identified and procedures for the inclusion of these areas in the CAR reserve system commenced. The Tasmanian Government will seek to complete implementation of this commitment during 2009‑10.

15

Hydro Tasmania to covenant 1300 hectares of sub-alpine forest on its freehold land

No date

Discussions have progressed between Hydro Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment with a view to covenanting the identified areas under the Nature Conservation Act 2002. Hydro Tasmania is finalising draft plans and developing covenants in consultation with the Department of Primary Industries and Water. The Tasmanian Government will seek to complete implementation of this commitment during 2009-10.

16

The Parties agree that any changes to those elements of the CAR Reserve System in Informal Reserves:

- will only occur in accordance with the RFA; and

- will maintain the level of protection of identified values at the regional scale; and

- that information on all such changes will be publicly available.

Ongoing

These requirements are being applied to the new Informal Reserves. The processes and changes were audited as part of the Second Five Yearly RFA Review process undertaken in 2007.

17

The State to maintain records of all changes to informal reserves and net impact on CAR reserve values changes will be recorded

Ongoing and reported as part of five year RFA review

Forestry Tasmania continues to maintain records of all changes to Informal Reserves on State Forest and CAR values within changed areas. Information on changes was reported as part of the Second Five Yearly RFA Review process undertaken in 2007.

18

The State to provide digital data of new formal and informal reserves to the Commonwealth

June 2006

Completed in 2005-06.

19

The Parties to ensure access to data continues to be provided in accordance with clause 90 and Attachment 14 of the RFA

Ongoing

Data access arrangements have been maintained.

Boundaries of all Formal Reserves and Informal Reserves are publicly available data in the Tasmanian Land Information System (LIST).

20

The Parties to co-operate to improve the protection of Old Growth forest on private land, particularly for forest communities that complement the new reserves on public land

Ongoing

The Tasmanian Government has continued to cooperate with the Commonwealth in the implementation of the Commonwealth’s Forest Conservation Fund (FCF) program.

21

(part 1)

The Commonwealth to establish, administer and fund a new market-based program [the Forest Conservation Program (FCF)] to protect and manage up to 45,600 hectares of forested private land, additional to that secured under the Private Forest Reserve Program, targeting old growth forest and under reserved communities.

Ongoing

See response to clauses 23 and 24 for progress on the FCF program.

21

(part 2)

The program will include a component, capped at $3.6 million, to protect up to 2400 hectares of forested land in the Mole Creek area

30 June 2008

The Mole Creek Karst Forest Program concluded on 30 June 2008.

An estimated 537 hectares of high conservation value forest and karst landscape has been protected through this program.

23

The Parties to jointly develop and manage the Forest Conservation Fund program through a steering committee and consult with Tasmanian private forest owner representatives on design and implementation

Ongoing

A joint Steering Committee has been formed to manage the FCF program. An Advisory Group, with representatives of key stakeholders, has met on several occasions.

The FCF Program developed a competitive tender process within which landowners can apply for funding for the covenanting of their forested land. On-ground implementation occurred through a service provider team based in Hobart that employed a network of conservation advisors.

The FCF Program concluded on 30 June 2009. Registration of covenants on titles and final payments to landowners will be finalised by December 2010.

The FCF Revolving Fund was established in 2007-08. In 2008-09 the Revolving Fund was extended for an additional 5 years. Through this mechanism, forested land is purchased, placed under covenant and revolved for sale on the open market.

At 30 June 2009, total funding approved for covenants and land purchases under the FCF program (including Mole Creek) was at around $43 million for 28,023 hectares of under-reserved forest, including 11,039 hectares of old growth forest.

24

The Parties to develop a strategic plan under which the Forest Conservation Fund will be administered

September 2005

Completed in 2005-06.

25

The State will establish conservation covenants on land titles under the Tasmanian Nature Conservation Act 2002 on lands on protected under the Forest Conservation Fund (including the Mole Creek area). The Commonwealth to reimburse the State all costs associated with covenanting the land.

Ongoing

The Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment continued processing and executing conservation covenants in accordance with the terms of the agreement with the Commonwealth.

As at 30 June 2009, thirty five covenants have been registered.

26

The State to provide monitoring and management support services to owners of covenanted land

Ongoing

The Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts and the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment have agreed on the arrangements for providing monitoring and support services.

The Tasmanian Government has commenced providing these services and is contacting owners as the properties are covenanted.

26

The Commonwealth to provide $5.5 million to the State for ongoing monitoring and management support services to owners of covenanted land

30 June 2006

Completed in 2005-06.

27

The Parties agree that the Private Forest Reserves Program will continue until 30 June 2006, at which time the Program will cease

30 June 2006

The remaining properties have been completed and the program is now finalised.

28

The Parties agree to negotiate a new financial agreement for the use of the remaining Private Forest Reserves Program NHT funds held by the State

No date

Completed in 2005-06.

28

The State to transfer any remaining Private Forest Reserves Program NHT funds to the Forest Conservation Fund program

30 June 2006

Completed in 2007-08.

29

The State to transfer any remaining Private Forest Reserves Program State Trust Fund funds, at 30 June 2006, to a State Private Property Vegetation Conservation program

30 June 2006

Completed in 2007-08.

30

The Parties to jointly fund a package of forest management and operations, industry development and research and development activities for reducing clearfelling of old growth forest on State forest

2010

A Variable Retention Manual was lodged on the Forestry Tasmania website and is now available to external parties (http://www.forestrytas.com.au/assets/0000/0596/VR_Manual9.pdf)

Thirteen variable retention (VR) coupes were harvested. Operational outcomes for all regenerated coupes were recorded.

Mr Bill Beese from Western Forest Products in British Columbia provided advice and mentoring to the VR Implementation Group of operational practitioners.

Progress with VR implementation was discussed with the VR Advisory Group of industry stakeholders.

31

The State to publicly report the area of public old growth harvested by silviculture technique each year

Annually

The area of old growth harvested on public land is reported in Forestry Tasmania’s annual Sustainable Forest Management Report.

The area of old growth harvested on State forest in 2008-09 was 2,270 hectares, of which 810 hectares (33%) was clearfelled.

32

The State to review progress in achieving safety, regeneration and log supply objectives through the new old growth forest silviculture

2007

Forestry Tasmania released a report A new silviculture for Tasmania’s public forests on the review of the variable retention program on 22 May 2009.

The review and related research reports are available at http://www.forestrytas.com.au/publications/a-new-silviculture-for-tasmania-s-public-forests.

33

The Parties agree that, further to clauses 75 to 77 of the RFA, further Intensive Forest Management will be used to mitigate the impact of the new reserves and the reduction in use of clearfelling in old growth forest

Ongoing

See report on clause 34

34

The State to deliver an integrated program of existing plantation productivity improvement, new plantation establishment and enhanced native forest thinning designed to maintain RFA targets for sustainable sawlog and veneer supplies to industry from State Forests

2010

During 2008-09 the State achieved the following:

  • 3,103 hectares of new plantation established
  • 1,484 hectares of land prepared for planting in Spring 2009
  • 2,917 hectares of existing eucalypt plantation pruned
  • 5,054 hectares of existing eucalypt plantation fertilised
  • 685 hectares of native forest regrowth thinned

36

The State to deliver management and planning of new reserves on public land

Ongoing

All new reserves on public land are being managed by Forestry Tasmania or the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment as part of their larger land estate and consistent with relevant reserve management objectives and the Tasmanian Reserve Management Code of Practice 2003.

37

The Parties agree that the management arrangements for new reserves in north west Tasmania will involve consultation with Aboriginal and other communities to maintain access for traditional land uses and to maintain cultural links and uses, consistent with conservation values

Ongoing

The Cradle Coast Authority has convened a stakeholder advisory group to provide a forum for information sharing. The Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks Water and Environment and Forestry Tasmania are represented on this group.

Forestry Tasmania and the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources have engaged the community in Northwest Tasmania in relation to planned tourism developments based on new TCFA reserves.

38

The State to phase out the use of 1080 on State Forest

December 2005

Completed in 2005-06.

The use of 1080 on State forests ceased from 31 December 2005.

39

The Parties to work collaboratively on a joint program to accelerate research into and implementation of alternatives to 1080 for browsing animal control on private forest and agricultural lands.

The Commonwealth to provide $4 million in a research, field testing and demonstration program of alternative options for private landholders and work with the State to continue to reduce usage of 1080 on private lands.

30 June 2007

The agreed Operating Plan for the program has continued to be implemented. The Operating Plan sets out the agreed objectives, outputs, governance, reporting, communications strategy and milestones for the program.

The Program has to date awarded over $2.8 million to over 20 different research projects, with a further $1.2 million allocated to fund field testing, demonstration and communication activities.

Nearly half of the projects have now been finalised, and the remaining projects are all well progressed and scheduled to deliver results progressively throughout 2009 and the first half of 2010.

Communication is a key part of this Program, and as well as the regular newsletter and the annual workshop which had over 80 attendees, the Program had a major presence at Agfest 2009, is a regular contributor to ABC’s Landline, and has participated or hosted several workshops and public forums over the year to keep stakeholders aware of the Program’s work. The release of the Wallaby Proof Fencing Guide was also a highlight of the year as it marked the start of the delivery of practical alternatives to 1080 poison to stakeholders.

The final report of the Program is due to be completed by mid 2010.

For more details on research and other projects funded under this program. For further information, see http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/ThemeNodes/LBUN-7YU6ZB?open

41

The State to develop a pilot wallaby management plan for a forested area on Tasmania’s mainland as a priority

ASAP

The Tasmanian Government will commence drafting a wallaby trade management plan for Tasmania in 2010 During 2008-09 DPIPWE recruited an officer to prepare wildlife trade management plans.  Given the complexity of the proposed wallaby trade management plan, initial attention has been given to the development of a trade management plan for possums, which will be used to inform the wallaby trade management plan.

42

The Commonwealth to progress the regulatory process for the wallaby management plans for Flinders and King Islands and the proposed mainland area referred to in clause 41 under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Ongoing

Wallaby Management Plans for Flinders and King Islands were approved by the Commonwealth in 2005.

No action is required on the pilot mainland plan until the Tasmanian Government submits it for approval.

44

The State to deliver low-impact access roading to and management of special timber management units on State forest for selective harvesting and access to leatherwood apiary sites to maintain sustainable supplies of leatherwood honey

2007

Completed in 2006-07.

A total of 72 kilometres of roads were built over three years at a total cost of $3 million.

45

The State to revise the Permanent Forest Estate Policy so that:

  • 95 per cent of the 1996 area of native forest will be retained
  • broad scale clearing and conversion of native forest on public land will be phased out by 2010
  • broad scale clearing and conversion of native forest on private land will be phased out by 2015; and
  • assessment criteria for regulating forest clearing and conversion ensure regional biodiversity and water quality values will be protected and salinity objectives met

November 2005

Completed in 2005-06.

The Tasmanian Government revised the Permanent Forest Estate Policy (PFEP) to include the agreed policy provisions. It was publicly released on 14 November 2005.

A further revision of the Policy, to incorporate implementation guidelines, was released in February 2007. For further information, see http://www.dier.tas.gov.au/forests/permanent_native_forest_estate_policy.

46

The State will design the approach outlined in clause 45 in consultation with the Commonwealth and implement the approach, including publicly release of the revised Permanent Forest Estate Policy

November 2005

Completed in 2005-06.

The implementation guidelines contained in the February 2007 version of the PFEP were developed in consultation with the Commonwealth Government.

47

Controls on private forest clearing and plantation conversion will not constrain private forest owners from undertaking sustainable commercial harvesting and regeneration of native forests and other land uses on their land that maintain the native forest cover

Ongoing

The revised PFEP specifically provides that sustainable commercial harvesting and regeneration of native forests and other land uses that maintain the native forest cover are not constrained by the policy.

48

The State to introduce new statutory mechanisms to Parliament to prevent clearing and conversion of threatened non-forest vegetation communities on public and private land and use best endeavours to secure the enactment of the proposals

December 2005

Completed in 2006-07.

48

The Parties to amend the 2003 Natural Heritage Trust 2 Bilateral Agreement consistent with this Clause

No date

Completed in 2005-06.

53

The Parties agree to jointly manage a program to facilitate industry retooling and investment in new plant and technology with the aim to maximise recovery of forest products from use of regrowth, plantation and other changes in the resource mix

30 June 2008

The $42 million Tasmanian Forest Industry Development Program (TFIDP) is funded and administered by the Commonwealth in consultation with the State. During the program a 30 per cent additional payment was allocated to approved grant amounts to assist grantees offset tax liabilities. This bought the total funding allocation under the TFIDP to $54.6 million.

Over the entire program $51.7 million was expended on the TFIDP helping to stimulate and contribute $168 million of investment in the hardwood sector.

The program closed to new applications in June 2007 and all funding approvals were made by Ministers by 30 June 2008.

Initially the program was anticipated to conclude on 30 June 2008. However, this program was extended to 30 June 2009. This allowed 22 project funding deeds to be amended to allow these projects to be finalised. The combined grant value of these projects was $25.35 million over the 2008-09 financial year.

The approved applications include purchase of equipment for use in plantations and regrowth harvesting operations, sawmill and kiln drying upgrades to process small and young logs and investments in processing infrastructure.

54

The Parties to consult with industry to determine priority areas for funding [of the program in clause 53]

No date

Completed in 2005-06.

55

The Parties to provide assistance to country sawmillers and to special species timber mills significantly affected by the new agreed reserves in north-west Tasmania

30 June 2007

The $4 million Tasmanian Country Sawmillers Assistance Program (TCSAP) is funded and administered by the Commonwealth. During the program the allocated funding was revised to $3.2 million and a 30 per cent additional payment was later allocated to assist grantees offset tax liabilities. This bought the total funding allocation under the TCSAP to $4.2 million.

Over the entire program $3.6 million was expended on the TCSAP helping to stimulate and contribute to the over $6 million of investment in the sawmill sector.

The program closed to new applications in June 2007 and all funding approvals were made by Ministers by 30 June 2008.

Initially the program was anticipated to conclude on 30 June 2008. However, this program was extended to 30 June 2009. This allowed 11 project funding deeds to be amended to allow these projects to be finalised. The combined grant value of these projects was $1.42 million in the 2008-09 financial year.

The funding assisted grantees to purchase sawmill and kiln drying equipment intended to reduce the reliance on old growth forest material, assist in processing small and young logs and increase value adding of sawn material.

56

The Parties to provide assistance for improved marketing, recovery and value adding for special species timbers

No date

Forestry Tasmania commissioned a survey report and characterisation study of Tasmanian special timbers sector that was released for public comment in March 2009. For further information, see http://www.forestrytas.com.au/ uploaded/File/pdf/2010_final_advice_april_05.pdf.

Forestry Tasmania continued reviewing the strategy for supply of special species timbers from State Forests. A draft strategic plan will be released for public comment in July 2009 that takes account of the survey report referred to above.

Fine Timbers Tasmania achieved chain of custody certification, enabling the use of the Australian Forestry Standard (AFS) and Program for Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes (PEFC) logos.

Development commenced on a site for Island Specialty Timbers Tasmania (ISTT) North-West at Smithton and a manager was appointed.

Tasmania’s special timbers were promoted at the Sydney Timber & Working with Wood show.

A further 352 hectares of blackwood rich coupes were fenced to protect blackwood regrowth from browsing.

58

The State to implement publicly accountable systems for monitoring the impact of residue harvesting for biomass energy plants on biodiversity

No date

No biomass energy plants have been established to date: hence implementation of a monitoring system has not been required.

59

The Parties to fund and the State to deliver additional roading and other infrastructure to support implementation of changed harvesting programs required for the introduction of new silviculture in public old growth forests

No date

Forestry Tasmania expended $4 million during 2008‑09 as part of its overall roading program to adjust to new harvesting requirements.

60

The Parties to progress all required assessment processes of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 for a pulp mill in Tasmania

As a priority

The former Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Water Resources approved the Gunns Ltd pulp mill on 4 October 2007 under the EPBC Act.

The approval contains 48 conditions which are designed to ensure matters of national environmental significance are protected. As part of these conditions Gunns Ltd must submit an Environmental Impact Management Plan (EIMP) for the Minister’s approval. In considering the plan, the Minister takes into account expert scientific advice from the specially appointed Independent Expert Group. The conditions impose stringent requirements, including controls on effluent discharge and measures to protect listed threatened species. The final and complete EIMP must be submitted by 3 March 2011.

The Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, Tasmanian Environment Protection Authority and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts continue to work closely to coordinate their respective regulatory activities and information requirements.

62

The Commonwealth to consider giving the Gunns pulp mill project major project status and facilitation of the project at the national level

No date

Completed in 2005-06.

63

The Commonwealth to fund and administer, in cooperation with the State, a $10 million Tasmanian softwood industry assistance program

30 June 2008

The $10 million Tasmanian Softwood Industry Development Program (TSIDP) is funded and administered by the Commonwealth in consultation with the State. During the program the funding allocation was increased to $10.7 million and a 30 per cent additional payment was later allocated to assist grantees offset tax liabilities. This bought the total funding allocation for the TSIDP to $13.99 million.

Over the entire program $13.5 million was claimed. This helped to stimulate over $52 million of investment in the softwood sector as a result of the entire program.

The program was closed to new applications in June 2007 and all funding approvals made by Ministers by 30 June 2008, in line with program guidelines. All funding allocated to the programs was committed to approved projects.

Initially the program was anticipated to conclude on 30 June 2008. However, this program was extended to 30 June 2009. This allowed 4 project funding deeds to be amended to allow these projects to be finalised. The combined grant value of these projects was $8.49 million in the 2008-09 financial year.

The approved applications include purchase of equipment for use in plantation harvesting operations, sawmill and kiln drying upgrades, investments in processing infrastructure and increase value adding of sawn material.

64

The Commonwealth to consult with the State and the Tasmanian softwood industry to determine the priorities to increase value added investment in softwood in Tasmania

No date

Completed in 2005-06.

66

The Commonwealth to fund [$4 million] and administer a program to support improved training and skills development throughout the forestry sector, including environmental care, changing forest management and wood processing, safety, product quality and business skills

30 June 2009

This commitment is being delivered by Forest Works Ltd (formerly the Forest and Forest Products Employment Skills Company) under an agreement signed with the Commonwealth Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in June 2006.

Total expenditure to date for the project is $3 333 328 of which $666 664 was paid during the 2008-09 financial year.

During 2008-09 project activity focussed on supporting the forest and forest products industries engagement with skills and training development, forming better linkages between different agencies to support improvements to skills and training development and to promote careers and career pathways within the forest and forest products industry.

Some key highlights include:

  • implemented a workers assistance program in the north of Tasmania to provide assistance such as individual case management, skill assessment, training opportunity identification and job placement to workers that have been retrenched or are in danger of retrenchment.
  • identified effective training solutions to assist Forestry Tasmania and Tasmanian Forestry Contractors Association with the effective implementation of the harvesting contractor safety initiative.
  • contributed expertise in skills development and careers promotion to assist the Forests and Forest Industry Council develop the New Forest Industry Plan in Tasmania.
  • promoted careers and career pathways in the forest and forest products industry at various careers events and worked closely with Tasmanian Pathway Planning Officers, Local Community Partnerships and Job Services Australia.
  • developed 12 assessment tools and other resources that assist in the reshaping of the licensing process to deliver the recognition of competency and granting of licenses in one process.
  • facilitated the commencement of 28 Australian Apprenticeships in the industry. Eight of these Australian Apprentices were jobseekers that completed a pre-vocational program also facilitated by ForestWorks.

67

The Parties to fund the development of forest tourism and visitor facilities focusing on new reserves on public land created under this Supplementary Agreement

30 June 2007

The Commonwealth funded and administered a $3 million grants program to improve visitor facilities in forest areas of Tasmania, focussing on the new reserves created as part of the TCFA. This program incorporates the $1 million bushwalking infrastructure program under clause 68. The Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative concluded on 30 June 2009.

On-ground works for seven projects have been completed.

The completed projects have provided new and upgraded walking and mountain bike tracks, boardwalks and lookouts, signage and interpretation, visitor facilities and tourist brochures.

Financial audit reporting has been finalised for all completed projects with the exception of two Tarkine National Coalition projects and two Forestry Tasmania projects (the Styx Valley and the Edge Sinkhole).

In 2008-09 total expenditure for the Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative projects was $245 949.57.

The Tasmanian Government has provided $2 million towards the development of a major tourism project by Forestry Tasmania at Maydena. A property at Maydena has been purchased and refurbishment and fitout completed.

The summit building “Eagles Eyrie” construction was completed to lock-up stage, with milestone celebration on 14 May 2009 attended by Minister Llewellyn, contractors and community members. Official opening is expected in 200910

For further details, see: http://www.forestrytas.com. au/visiting/visitor-sites/central/maydena-adventure-hub

68

The Commonwealth to fund and administer, in cooperation with the State, and subject to any State approval processes, a $1 million program towards the provision of bushwalking infrastructure in north west Tasmania

30 June 2007

See clause 67.

69

The Commonwealth to provide $1 million to a catchment water quality program to be developed and delivered in consultation with the State and drawing on CSIRO expertise, and building on State chemical audit and water monitoring programs to assess the impact of chemical usage in Tasmania’s water catchments.

30 June 2007

The River Catchment Water Quality Initiative was launched by Ministers on 30 August 2006.

All program funding has been allocated. All projects have been completed.

The principal outcome of the program has been the development and testing of the CSIRO Pesticide Impact Residue Index (a model for predicting risk to water quality of using various pesticide chemicals to actual sites), which was launched in September 2008.

For more information on this program see http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/SSKA-7JA2JK?open .

70

The Parties to support State research into the Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease through a collaborative partnership.

No date

Completed in 2006-07.

71

The Commonwealth to provide $2 million to specific priority projects on research into the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease developed in consultation with the State

30 June 2007

The TCFA funded component of the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease program was completed in 2006-07. The Commonwealth and the Tasmanian Government have committed to a joint Save the Tasmanian Devil Program.

Further information about the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease program can be found at http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/LBUN-5QF86G?open .

72

The Commonwealth to provide $2.2 million for a communication program to be delivered in consultation with the State

30 June 2006

During 2008-09, $200 000 funding was allocated to the Forest Education Foundation to promote Tasmania’s forest industry. This completed the communication program.

75

The Commonwealth to contribute to the State $66 million towards intensive forest management activities and $13 million as a general grant

30 June 2008

The intensive forest management payment was paid over four financial years. The Commonwealth contribution of $66 million towards intensive forest management activities was finalised with a $19 million payment in 2007-08.

The $13 million general grant was paid in June 2005.

76

The Commonwealth will contribute:

- $2 million towards research into alternatives to clearfalling

- $42 million towards support for the hardwood sawmill industry

- $4 million towards support for country sawmillers

- $2.2 million towards a communication program

- $2 million towards tourism and recreation projects

 

30 June 2006

30 June 2008

30 June 2007

30 June 2006

30 June 2007

 

See comments for clause 30. $2 million has been provided to the Tasmanian Government.

See comments for clause 53.

See comments for clause 55.

See comments for clause 72.

See comments for clause 67.

77

The State will contribute $90 million towards the package with specific allocations and estimated expenditure profiles outlined in Tables 1 and 4 of Attachment 2

30 June 2010

The Tasmanian Government has contributed funding in accordance with progressive expenditure under the TCFA. To 30 June 2009 this contribution was $76 million.

79

The State to provide the Commonwealth with annual acquittal reports and proposed activity statement on Intensive Forest Management funds

Annually

Acquittal reports and proposed activity statements for the IFM program have been provided to the Commonwealth in accordance with the requirements of clause 79.

 

Acronyms

CAR

Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative

CLAC

Crown Land Assessment and Classification (project)

CRA

Comprehensive Regional Assessment

CSIRO

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

EPBC

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (Act)

FCF

Forest Conservation Fund

LIST

Land Information System Tasmania

NHT

Natural Heritage Trust

PFEP

Permanent Forest Estate Policy

PFRP

Private Forest Reserves Program

RFA

Tasmanian Regional Forest Agreement (1997)

TCFA

Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement (2005)

TCSAP

Tasmanian Country Sawmillers Assistance Program

TFIDP

Tasmanian Forest Industry Development Program

TSIDP

Tasmanian Softwood Industry Development Program