River red gum forests


Advice provided

Advice date:

December 2009


In 2009, through a Terms of Reference, the NSW Government asked us to assess the river red gum and woodland forests in the Riverina bioregion.

Our preliminary assessment report set down the available economic, social and available scientific knowledge about these forests and their current management.

Our final assessment report provided information on managing the river red gum forests into the future. The supporting map book provides additional mapping details.

In response to our recommendations, the Government put in place the Integrated Forestry Operations Approval for Riverina Red Gum (commenced on 1 January 2011) under the National Park Estate (Riverina Red Gum Reservations) Act 2010.

We received 5,534 submissions from organisations and individuals, of which 259 were unique and the remainder were form letters or emails. These submissions were on the Government's Terms of Reference and our preliminary assessment report. We also engaged Arche Consulting Pty Ltd to provide an independent socio-economic impact assessment to inform our final assessment.

Ecological thinning trial

As part of our overall recommendations on river red gum and woodland forests, we recommended large-scale trials of ecological thinning across all main river red gum forest groups. These trials should apply the forest management principles described in the final assessment report. We also suggested the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and the Australian Governments should work towards establishing collaborative and adaptive management arrangements on relevant red gum forests along the Murray.

Since these recommendations, the NSW Government has commenced a trial in the Murray Valley National Park (Millewa forests) to determine the effectiveness of ecological thinning to promote conservation outcomes in river red gum forests.

Boundary adjustment to river red gum reserves

The National Park Estate (Riverina Red Gum Reservations) Act 2010 includes provisions to adjust reserve boundaries, if necessary.

In 2012, the Minister for the Environment sought our advice on adjustments to boundaries of the red gum reserves, proposed by the Office of the Environment and Heritage. Based on our advice, the NSW Government has since approved a scientifically monitored grazing trial in some river red gum reserves.

Key documents