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The Forest Practices Authority

The FPA's functions

The FPA aims to foster co-operation amongst all stakeholders in the forest practices system including: government; landowners; the forest industry; and the broader community. The system is based on a co-regulatory approach between the FPA and the forest industry which emphasises planning, training, education and continuing improvement.

The roles and responsibilities of the various parties in delivering the forest practices system are detailed in an administrative paper that has been endorsed by the Forest Practices Advisory Council and the board of the FPA.

The FPA works closely in partnership with other government agencies on matters of overlapping jurisdiction. Formal agreements are in place with the Environment Protection Authority (through a Memorandum of Understanding on matters such as pollution and smoke management) and with the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment on Agreed Procedures for the Management of Threatened Species under the forest practices system.

The FPA's functions in this co-regulatory system are: advising; researching; monitoring; and enforcing.

Advising

  • setting the standards for forest practices, through the Forest Practices Code 

  • training Forest Practices Officers (FPOs) to prepare, certify and supervise forest practices plans  (FPPs) which comply with the Forest Practices Code

  • developing planning tools to assist FPOs preparing FPPs

  • providing specialist advice to FPOs preparing FPPs.

The FPA's Geoscientist (right) working with Timberlands staff on regenerating pre-Forest Practices Code stream side reserve during the second rotation of a plantation near Fingal in Tasmania's north-east.

Researching

  • undertaking research to underpin the provisions of the Forest Practices Code, and to monitor its effectiveness, often in collaboration with scientists and experts from other organisations
  • incorporating research findings into the forest practices system through adaptive management.

 

(left) A central north burrowing crayfish (Engaeus granulatus) found by the FPA's Bioidversity Program during surveys to establish their range boundary.

Monitoring

  • organising an independent assessment of a representative sample of all FPPs to monitor their compliance with the prescriptions agreed in FPP and the standards stipulated in the Forest Practices Code
  • monitoring the certificates of compliance submitted by the applicants of FPPs within 30 days of the end of the prescribed operations
  • monitoring carried out by the Chief Forest Practices Officer and other FPA staff  in the course of routine inspections
  • monitoring of the performance of FPOs
  • monitoring of natural and cultural values by the FPA's specialist staff
  • implementing the Permanent Native Forest Estate Policy which monitors the area of native forest types in each bioregion and ensures they do not fall below a particular level (check the news items on the home page for up-to-date information on the policy)
  • monitoring of the prescriptions developed by FPA specialists with other experts and Forest Practices Officers. The resulting information is fed back into the forest practices system thorough adaptive management.
The FPA organises an annual independent assessment of forest practices plans which asseses the compliance of the operations with the prescriptions in the forest practices plan.

Enforcing

  • investigating complaints and alleged breaches of the Forest Practices Code
  • issuing a verbal or written notification to require persons to comply with the Forest Practices Act 1985 or an FPP
  • issuing a second notice where the first notice is not complied with to direct the person to cease operations and carry out any work required to ameliorate any damage incurred as a result of the breach
  • imposing fines and/or requiring remedial works as a penalty for failure to have operations covered by an FPP , for failing to comply with an FPP or for failing to lodge a certificate of compliance
  • prosecuting through the Courts system where appropriate.

Content last modified May 1, 2012, 11:02 am