Coastal Integrated Forestry Operations Approval

The Forestry Act 2012 provides for integrated forestry operations approvals (IFOAs), which integrate the regulatory regimes for environmental planning and assessment, for the protection of the environment and for threatened species conservation.

In February 2012, the NSW Government announced a remake of the IFOAs for the Eden, Southern, Upper North East and Lower North East coastal region of NSW. The NSW Government is committed to delivering a single new IFOA for forestry in coastal NSW.

The objectives of the remake of Coastal IFOA are to reduce the cost of implementation and compliance and to improve the clarity and enforceability of the IFOA conditions. The NSW Government has committed to delivering these objectives with no net change to wood supply and no erosion of environmental values.

In February 2014, the Government released a discussion paper seeking community feedback before a new Coastal IFOA is prepared.

Since then, the Environmental Protection Authority, Forestry Corporation NSW and Department of Primary Industries have worked together to develop initial concepts and components, including new settings and conditions for the new Coastal IFOA.

In July 2016, the Premier asked the Commission, through a Terms of Reference, to review outstanding settings for the new Coastal IFOA, and provide in-confidence advice to the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for Primary Industries on the extent to which the proposed IFOA settings would, or would not, deliver the Government’s commitments.

If it is not possible to meet the commitments, the Commission is to provide options for how to balance or reduce the impacts on environmental values or wood supply.

The Commission has provided its advice to Government.

The Commission’s review and the new IFOA is a first step in the NSW Government’s commitment to modernise the regulatory framework for the NSW forestry industry. This is set out under the NSW Government’s Forestry Industry Roadmap released in August 2016.