Final north east nsw rfa



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FINAL

NORTH EAST NSW RFA

REGIONAL FOREST AGREEMENT

for

NORTH EAST
NEW SOUTH WALES

(Upper North East and Lower North East Regions)


between

THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA

&

THE STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES


MARCH 2000

North East Regional Forest Agreement
THIS AGREEMENT is made on the day of 2000

BETWEEN

THE STATE OF NEW SOUTH WALES, (“New South Wales” or “the State”), and

THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA (“the Commonwealth”).

Recitals


WHEREAS:

Purpose of Agreement


  1. This Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) establishes the framework for the management of the forests of the Upper North East and Lower North East regions. Parties are committed to ensuring the Agreement is durable and that the obligations and commitments that it contains are delivered to ensure effective conservation, forest management and forest industry outcomes.

  2. This Agreement is a Regional Forest Agreement, for the purposes of the Export Control Act 1982 (C’wth), Export Control (Hardwood Wood Chips) (1996) Regulations (C’wth), and the Export Control (Regional Forest Agreements) Regulations (C’wth). As such the Agreement :

  1. identifies areas in the region or regions that the Parties believe are required for the purposes of a Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative Reserve System, and provides for the conservation of those areas; and

  2. provides for the ecologically sustainable management and use of forested areas in the regions; and

  3. is for the purpose of providing long-term stability of forests and forest industries; and

  4. has regard to studies and projects carried out in relation to all of the following matters that are relevant to the regions:

  1. environmental values, including Old Growth, Wilderness, endangered species, National Estate Values and World Heritage Values;

  2. Indigenous heritage values;

  3. economic values of forested areas and forest industries;

  4. social values (including community needs); and

  5. principles of Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management.

  1. This Agreement is divided into Parts. Part 1 applies to the whole Agreement. Part 2 is not intended to create legally binding relations. Part 3 is intended to create legally binding relations. The Attachments are not intended to create legally binding relations except to the extent that this is necessary to give effect to Part 3.

NOW IT IS AGREED as follows:

PART 1

Interpretation

1This Agreement is to be interpreted, unless the contrary intention appears, with reference to the definitions and general provisions specified in clauses 2 and 3.

Definitions and General Provisions

2In this Agreement unless the contrary intention appears:


Agreement” means all parts of this Agreement between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of New South Wales and includes the Attachments to this Agreement;

Australian Heritage Commission” or “the Commission” means the Commission established by the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975 (C’wth);

Biodiversity” means biodiversity as defined in the JANIS Report;

Comprehensive Adequate and Representative Reserve System” or “CAR Reserve System” means areas under any of the following categories of land tenure - as described in the JANIS Report - Dedicated Reserves, Informal Reserves and other areas on Public Land protected by prescription (eg under Integrated Forestry Operation Approvals), and areas of Private Land where the CAR Values are protected under secure management arrangement by agreement with private landholders. This reserve system is based on the principles of comprehensiveness, adequacy and representativeness;

CAR Values” means the conservation values as described by the JANIS Reserve Criteria;

Codes of Practice” or “Codes” means the State’s suite of codes identified in this Agreement or described in the New South Wales CRA/RFA Steering Committee: Assessment of Management Systems and Processes for Achieving Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management in New South Wales: Independent Expert Working Group Report published by the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments April 1998. Codes include the:



  • Timber Plantations (Environmental Protection) Harvesting Code 1997 (Schedule 1 of Timber Plantations (Harvest Guarantee) Regulation 1997 (NSW)) and the equivalent Code under the Plantations and Reafforestation Act (1999) when it commences;

  • State Forests of NSW Forests Practices Code : Part 1: Timber Harvesting in State Forests Plantations (July 1995) (Under review);

  • State Forests of NSW Forests Practices Code : Part 2: Timber Harvesting in Native Forests (November 1995) (Under review);

  • State Forests of NSW Forests Practices Code : Part 3: Plantation Establishment and Maintenance (Draft of August 1996) (Under review);

  • State Forests of NSW Forest Practices Code : Part 4: Forest Roads and Fire Trails (February 1999);

  • State Forests of NSW Forest Practices Code : Part 5: Wildlife Management in Native Forests (due for completion by April 2000);

  • Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals for the Upper North East and Lower North East regions; and

  • Additional or new Codes identified in the New South Wales Upper North East Region Forest Agreement and Lower North East Region Forest Agreement;

Competition Principles Agreement” means the agreement of the same name described in the Compendium of National Competition Policy Agreements, January 1997, National Competition Council;

Comprehensive Regional Assessment” or “CRA” means the assessment process carried out pursuant to Attachment 1 of the Scoping Agreement for New South Wales Regional Forest Agreements between the Commonwealth of Australia and the State of New South Wales;

Crown Land” means land that is vested in the Crown or was acquired under the Closer Settlements Acts as in force before their repeal, not in either case being:

(a) land dedicated for a public purpose; or

(b) land that has been sold or lawfully contracted to be sold and in respect of which the purchase price or other consideration for the sale has been received by the Crown.

Crown Reserve” means land dedicated or reserved as a reserve under the Crown Lands Act 1989 (NSW) and managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service;

Data” means all Source Data, Derived Data, Assessment Data, and models listed in the Schedules as defined in Attachment 13 to this Agreement;

Dedicated Reserve” means a reserve equivalent to International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Protected Area Management Categories I, II, III, or IV as defined by the IUCN Commission for National Parks and Protected Areas (1994). The status of Dedicated Reserves is secure, requiring action by the New South Wales Parliament or in accordance with New South Wales legislation for reservation or revocation. In New South Wales, Dedicated Reserves include, but are not limited to, parks under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NSW) and flora reserves under the Forestry Act 1916 (NSW) (Special Protection Zones under the Forest Management Zoning system);

Deferred Forest Agreement” means the Deferred Forest Agreement between the Commonwealth and the State of New South Wales signed on 25th January 1996 as subsequently amended;

Eco-Field Guide” means An Overview of Forest Management in North East New South Wales, SFNSW, (in prep), A Field Guide to Forest Management in North East New South Wales, SFNSW, (in prep) and the Native Forest Silviculture Manual, SFNSW, (in Prep);

Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management” or “ESFM” means forest management and use in accordance with the specific objectives and policies for ecologically sustainable development as detailed in the National Forest Policy Statement. Principles are elaborated in Attachment 14.;

Environment and Heritage Values” means those values assessed pursuant to Attachment 1 of the RFA Scoping Agreement;

Extractive Material” means sand, gravel, clay, soil, turf, rock, stone or similar substances, not being a Mineral, as defined in this Agreement;

Extractive Operation” means the winning of Extractive Material, or, an industry or undertaking (not including Mining), which depends for its operations on the winning of Extractive Material from the land upon which it is carried on;



"Forest" means: a Forest Ecosystem listed in Table 1 of Attachments 1(A) and 1(B); the land on which a Forest Ecosystem listed in Table 1 of Attachments 1(A) and 1(B) occurs; and, a plantation of trees. The carrying out of a forestry operation on an area does not prevent it from remaining as a Forest.

Forest Agreement” means a Forest Agreement as defined in the Forestry and National Park Estate Act 1998 (NSW);

Forest Ecosystem” means for the purposes of the Agreement a forest ecosystem as defined in the JANIS Report. Forest Ecosystems as they exist at the present time are described in Attachments 1(A) and 1(B) of this Agreement;

Forest Management System” means the New South Wales Forest Management System as described in the report entitled Assessment of Management Systems and Processes for Achieving Ecologically Sustainable Forest Management in New South Wales1: Independent Expert Working Group Report published by the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments April 1998 and as modified by the Forestry and National Park Estate Act 1998 (NSW). Major elements of the system include Forest Agreements, Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals, Codes of Practice, Eco-Field Guides and Regional ESFM Plans;

Forest Management Zoning” or “FMZ” is a land classification system which identifies management intent across State forest. The system is described in the document Forest Management Zoning in State Forests, SFNSW 1999;

Forestry Operations” means:



  1. logging operations, namely, the cutting and removal of timber from land for the purpose of timber production;

  2. forest products operations, namely, the harvesting of Forest Products that are of economic value;

  3. on-going forest management operations, namely, activities relating to the management of land for timber production such as thinning, bush fire hazard reduction and other silvicultural activities; and

  4. transport of Forest Products;

Forest Products” means timber and products as defined in the Forestry Act 1916 (NSW);

Forest Resource and Management Evaluation System” or “FRAMES” means State Forests of New South Wales’ statewide forest resource inventory, growth modelling, simulation and harvest scheduling system for New South Wales’ public native forest resource. This system is documented in the project reports Strategic Inventory, Biometric Models, Yield Simulator, Strategic Yield Scheduler and Application of Protective Measures and Forest Practices into a Quantitative Database for UNE and LNE Regions;

Harvesting Exclusions Zone” (Zone 3A) means the zone of the same name in the document Forest Management Zoning in State Forests, SFNSW 1999;

"High Quality Large Sawlogs" means High Quality Sawlogs having a centre diameter under bark of at least 40cm;

"High Quality Sawlogs" means sawlogs of 2.4 metres or more in length, which meet the SFNSW specifications for high quality;

High Quality Small Sawlogs” means High Quality Sawlogs having a centre diameter under bark of less than 40cm;

Informal Reserve” means a reserve that contains and is managed for Environment and Heritage Values which contribute to the CAR Reserve System and meets the principles for Informal Reserves as described in the JANIS Report. In New South Wales, it includes, but is not limited to, parts of the Special Management Zone under the NSW Forest Management Zoning system;

Integrated Forestry Operations Approval” or “IFOA” means an Integrated Forestry Operations Approval or Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals as defined in the Forestry and National Park Estate Act 1998 (NSW);

ISO 14000 Series” means AS/NZS ISO 14000 series, Environmental Management Systems, Standards Australia, 1996;

JANIS Report” means the report by the Joint Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) / Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture (MCFFA) National Forests Policy Statement Implementation Sub-committee, titled Nationally Agreed Criteria for the Establishment of a Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative Reserve System for Forests in Australia, published by the Commonwealth of Australia in 1997;

JANIS Reserve Criteria” or “Criteria” means the criteria as described in the JANIS Report for establishing the CAR Reserve System addressing Biodiversity, Old Growth forest and Wilderness, taking account of reserve design and management and social and economic considerations;

Large Veneer Logs” means veneer logs having a centre diameter under bark of at least 40 cm;

Long-term Timber Supply Strategy” means the strategy described in Attachment 12 to this Agreement.

Mineral” means any substance prescribed by the regulations of the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) as a mineral, and petroleum as prescribed under the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 (NSW), and includes coal, oil shale and petroleum but does not include uranium;

Mining” means any operation or work carried out to obtain Minerals;

Mining Operations” means operations carried out in the course of Mining, or operations authorised by an exploration licence or an assessment lease under the Mining Act 1992 (NSW) or the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 (NSW);

Montreal Process Criteria” means the Montreal Process criteria for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests;

Montreal Process Implementation Group” or “MIG” means the Montreal Process Implementation Group established by the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments;

National Estate” means those places as defined under section 4 of the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975 (C’wth);

National Estate Values” means values attributed by the Australian Heritage Commission to the National Estate;

National Forest Policy Statement” or “NFPS” means the National Forest Policy Statement (1992) endorsed by the Commonwealth and all State and Territory Governments;

NPWS Environmental Management System” means the system of the same name described in the New South Wales Upper North East Region Forest Agreement and Lower North East Region Forest Agreement;

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service” or “NPWS” means the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service;

Old Growth forest” means old growth forest as defined in the JANIS Report;

Parties” means the State of New South Wales and the Commonwealth of Australia;

Party” means a Party to this Agreement;

Plantations” means intensively managed stands of trees of either native or exotic species, created by the regular placement of seedlings or seed;

Private Land” means lands other than Public Land and land owned or leased by the Commonwealth;

Public Land” means lands of the New South Wales Crown;

Pulpwood” means logs cut and prepared primarily for the manufacture of wood pulp;

Recovery Plan” includes a recovery plan made under Part 3 of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (C’wth) and/or relevant parts of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW);

Regional ESFM Plan” means a plan covering State forests in the region that has the status of a management plan under the Forestry Regulation 1999 (NSW) under the Forestry Act 1916 (NSW);

Regional Forest Agreement” or “RFA” means a Regional Forest Agreement within the meaning of the Export Control (Hardwood Wood Chips) (1996) Regulations (C’wth);

Regional Prescriptions” include silvicultural prescriptions and systems, and protection measures covered by the Codes of Practice, Eco-Field Guides and Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals applying to the Upper North East and Lower North East regions;

Register of the National Estate” means the register of the same name kept pursuant to the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975 (C’wth);

Scoping Agreement” means the Scoping Agreement for New South Wales Regional Forest Agreements between the Commonwealth and the State of New South Wales signed on 25th January 1996;

SFNSW Native Forest Management System” means the system of the same name described in the New South Wales Upper North East Region Forest Agreement and Lower North East Region Forest Agreement;

Special Management Zone” (Zone 2), means the zone of the same name as described in S21A of the Forestry Act 1916 (NSW) and described in the document Forest Management Zoning in State Forests, SFNSW 1999;

Special Prescription Zone” (Zone 3B) means the zone of the same name in the document Forest Management Zoning in State Forests, SFNSW 1999;

Special Protection Zone” (Zone 1), means the zone of the same name described in the document Forest Management Zoning in State Forests, SFNSW 1999;

State forest” means land dedicated as State forest under the Forestry Act 1916 (NSW);

State Forests of NSW” or “SFNSW” means the Forestry Commission of New South Wales, constituted as a corporation under the Forestry Act 1916 (NSW) operating as State Forests of New South Wales;

Statement of Significance” means a statement of significance made by the Australian Heritage Commission for a place which forms part of the National Estate;

Sustainability Indicators” means qualitative or quantitative measures, at the regional (sub-national) level developed to assess the criteria for sustainable forest management;

Sustainable Yield” means the long term estimated wood yield from forests that can be maintained from a given region in perpetuity under a given management strategy and suite of sustainable use objectives;

Sustainable Wood Supply Strategy” means the intent to manage yields of High Quality Large Sawlogs and Large Veneer Logs from the forest at a specific and constant level for twenty years under a given management strategy and suite of sustainable use objectives. It recognises that a transition to long term Sustainable Yield will be phased in to accommodate social and economic considerations;

Threat Abatement Plan” means a threat abatement plan made under Part 3 of the Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 (C’wth);

Wilderness” means wilderness as defined in the JANIS Report;

Wilderness Values” means the values of the same name as defined in the JANIS Report and the Scoping Agreement between NSW and the Commonwealth;

Wild Rivers” means a water course, water course network, or a connected network of water bodies, of natural origin and exhibiting natural flow (perennial, intermittent or episodic) in which the biological, hydrological and geomorphological processes associated with the river flow; and the biological, hydrological and geomorphological processes in those parts of the catchment with which the river is intimately linked; have not been significantly altered by modern or colonial society;

Woodchips and Unprocessed Wood” means those goods within the meaning of the Export Control (Hardwood Wood Chips) (1996) Regulations (C’wth); the Export Control (Regional Forest Agreements) Regulations (C’wth); and the Export Control (Unprocessed Wood) Regulations (C’wth);

Wood Supply Agreement” means an agreement in writing between State Forests of NSW and a person or company or organisation under which State Forests of NSW agrees to supply and the person or company or organisation agrees to take native hardwoods. It includes agreements commonly referred to as term agreements and wood supply agreements, of more than twelve months duration;

World Heritage Nomination” means the submission by the Commonwealth of a nominated area to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee for assessment as a World Heritage area;

World Heritage Values” means features, formations, areas, and sites of outstanding universal value within the meaning of Article 2 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, also known as the World Heritage Convention.


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