The Compliance Program
The Compliance Program's key roles are:
Enquiries and complaints
The FPA keeps a record of all enquires dealt with by the Compliance Program. Enquires come from a range of sources including FPOs, local government, landowners, other agencies and the public. From 2011, the Environment Protection Authority will handle enquiries about smoke.
The FPA investigates all complaints relating to alleged breaches of the Forest Practices Act 1985, the Forest Practices Code or poor practices. Investigations are undertaken directly by FPA compliance staff, or by FPOs. Reports and recommendations are reviewed against the FPA's investigation and enforcement protocols by the CFPO and, when appropriate, by the Board of the FPA. Investigations may also be undertaken in co-operation with other government agencies. Formal legal actions arising as a consequence of serious breaches identified during investigations undertaken by the FPA are progressed in consultation with the Tasmania Police.
Certificate of compliance
The Forest Practices Act 1985 requires a certificate of compliance to be lodged with the FPA within 30 days of the completion of operations prescribed within an FPP. These certificates must be completed by a FPO and lodged by the person who applied for the plan. Where compliance reports are not lodged on time, the FPA issues the applicant of the plan with a notice under s. 41 of the Act to require the lodgement of the report. Failure to comply with a notice under the Act can result in the FPA undertaking compliance checks at a cost to the applicant or legal proceedings.
Independent assessment of forest practices plans
The FPA has a statutory obligation to annually 'assess the implementation and effectiveness of a sample of forest practices plans.' The Compliance Program facilitates independent assessors to carry out a systematic assessment based on a stratified random sample of certified forest practices plans.
Forest Practices Officer training
FPOs act as authorised officers of the FPA in the execution of the Forest Practices Act 1985 and the Forest Practices Regulations 2007. The Compliance Program coordinates FPO training which ensures that they have the required skills and knowledge to carry out their role prior to their appointment as an FPO.
Support for Forest Practices Advisory Council
The Compliance Program provides executive support for the Forest Practices Advisory Council., which meets around six times a year and advises the Board of the FPA on: reviews of the Forest Practices Act 1985 and the Forest Practices Code; financial matters including self-funding and the effectiveness of forest practices administration; and operations; and research.
Forest practices plan TDJ015 was assessed as part of the 2009-10 independent monitoring and assessment program. The land is a large Gunns freehold property in the Coal River Valley, in south-eastern Tasmania. The FPP was for 180 hectare reforestation of cleared land to hardwood plantation and a small area of selective harvesting and reforestation to native forest. There were substantial areas reserved for both soil and water and flora values in accordance with the requirements of the Forest Practices Code.
Overall, the assessment found that both the planning and implementation of the FPP was sound. In particular, threatened native forest communities - Eucalyptus amygdalina on sandstone and grassy E. globulus forest / were identified and protected. Areas requiring spot cultivation to protect soils on steep slopes were identified and prescriptions implemented. There was also effective road maintenance.
Content last modified September 23, 2011, 2:00 pm