The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) audits how well the DSE scrutinises logging contractors. Their audits have come under some criticism over the last four year so the EPA have appointed Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM) to review how it does the audits.
So SKM will check the toothless EPA checks of the monitoring by government foresters of loggers compliance with the code. That Code, by the way, is designed for logging, not protecting forests.
Public consultation is used to placate the public, to tick off an obligation to satisfy a government regulation and to glean information from us that can be used to close loopholes and hide problems rather than address them. We lay our hand out on the table and they keep theirs close to their chests.
Every five years the Code of Forest Practice is refined using community consultation (including from loggers). The new version is then cleverly worded so that even more damage can be done with even less scrutiny or penalty.
So the real question should be: is it even worth the EPA auditing the DSE’s monitoring of logging contractors adherence to the Code? The EPA reports show that environmental damage is as bad as it has ever been, but the EPA’s dicky system for checking the DSE, allows them to claim things are improving.
SKM has a reputation as a credible and professional body. Hopefully their final report will not twist reality to fit the DSE’s agenda and spin.