Regional Forest Agreements

The Regional Forest Agreements were a multi-million dollar government set-up to pretend the forest battle had been solved by balancing all values. In effect it allowed unlimited woodchipping, paid lip-service to conservation, promised hundreds of jobs that never eventuated and made laws that took any responsibility away from the feds for looking after nationally threatened wildlife.

It effectively took the problematic forest debate away from the Commonwealth government and handed the controversial issue to the states.The RFA was an expensive sham designed to appear balanced and scientific. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In reality, it’s been an 18 year relentless rampage and the forest conflict has intensified. This is just another in a long line of processes the government keep placing before the public, and like all those before it has profited only one party – the profiteers.

These RFA’s have effectively facilitated the destruction of many valuable areas that were critical for the survival and ongoing evolution of species. Jobs have been lost due to the growing preference for pine timber and the unchecked dominance of the jobs-poor woodchipping industry. Environmental obligations have never been honoured. Yet the Abbott government is set  to roll them over unquestioningly for another 20 years.

Greater Glider – recently listed as threatened

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bad news: The Greater Glider, Australia’s largest (and fluffiest) gliding possum is under threat of extinction.

Good news: It has recently been added to the threatened list of Victoria’s Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (FFGA)

After decades of decline and zero government interest or surveys, the clear evidence is that local extinctions of the Greater Glider are happening. It’s still in decline due to ongoing threats like clearfelling its habitat, planned burns and destruction of hollow-bearing trees that are essential for its survival. Like the Koala, the Greater Glider eats gum leaves and has a small home range. It won’t leave after its home area is cut down. The glider has an affinity for its known trees and hollows. It starves or is killed by predators once its forest or trees are destroyed.

Calls to end logging’s legal exemption from federal environment law

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

This week a coalition of 25 environment groups is urging Premier Daniel Andrews to abandon his plans to extend the legal exemption given to the native forest logging industry in East Gippsland.

The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is a 20-year arrangement between state and federal governments that gives special immunity to the logging industry from Federal environment laws - laws that should protect nationally listed threatened species. 

Abolish Failed Forest Deals – What do the Parties Say?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

For nearly 20 years, Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) have given the logging industry preferential access to around seven million hectares of publicly owned native forests in four states. Logging has been exempted from Federal environment laws for this time. AFCA together with over 30 environment groups say RFAs should be abolished and logging in native forests should end.

AFCA asked the Parties two questions. Here are their replies (at 23 June 2016):

Abolish Failed Forest Deals

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

For nearly 20 years native forest logging in Victoria, Tasmania, NSW and WA has received special treatment under commonwealth environmental laws. Other industries need approval from the commonwealth Environment Minister before taking an action that may affect threatened species or World Heritage. Native forest logging does not. The result has been catastrophic for wildlife and other forest values.

RFA’s – just a giant legal loophole to destroy forests

Friday, May 13, 2016

700 pages and not one reason to keep logging forestsEast Gippsland was the first region to have its forests signed away under the appalling logging industry ‘free-for-all’ called the Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs). Its life of 20 years is about to expire next year and MUST NOT be rolled over for another 2 decades of legally exempt pillaging. Many reports have shown it was a massive failure for all but the export woodchip industry.

20 year legal exemption must go

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wednesday 3rd February marks the 19th anniversary of an agreement that has allowed the logging industry a legal exemption from Australia’s environment laws.

Jill Redwood from Environment East Gippsland, where this exemption from commonwealth laws was first introduced says the Turnbull government is planning to instate another 20 years of this special treatment.

“We have one more year before this archaic agreement expires. To continue this out-dated, anti-environmental exemption to the laws for a passé and declining industry is deplorable”.

Legally exempt extinction?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Our state and federal governments signed away our native forests exactly 19 years ago today (3rd Feb 1997). They were deemed exempt from commonwealth environmental laws. Ever since our forests have fed a massive overseas woodchip market.

This immunity from the law will end next year and the Turnbull Government wants to roll over this special treatment without pause or scrutiny.

Much of our wildlife is now critically endangered due to ongoing destruction of habitat. Thousands of hectares of our original rich forests have been and are still being converted to uniform single species tree crops across the country; a desert compared to the once diverse forests brimming with birds and wildlife.

Life after the RFA

Monday, April 27, 2015

Since the East Gippsland RFA was signed in February 1997, we have seen:

  • licences issued for unlimited woodchip exports from the region
  • a five year permanent blockade of the Goolengook heritage listed old growth forest. Hundreds of people were arrested. Politically and financially this was costly to the government and what remained was eventually protected.
  • areas which have previously been identified by the government as having national and state significance for biological values have been logged.

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