River red gum forests


Advice provided

Advice date:

December 2009


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

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

The Commission's 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 the Commission's 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.

The Commission 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 the Commission's preliminary assessment report. The Commission also engaged Arche Consulting Pty Ltd to provide an independent socio-economic impact assessment to inform the Commission's final assessment.

Ecological thinning trial

As part of its overall recommendations on river red gum and woodland forests, the Commission 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. The Commission 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 the Commission's advice on adjustments to boundaries of the red gum reserves, proposed by the Office of the Environment and Heritage. Based on the Commission's advice, the NSW Government has since approved a scientifically monitored grazing trial in some river red gum reserves.

Key documents