In accordance with Clause 36 of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, the Australian Government, Tasmanian Government and Forestry Tasmania have negotiated and signed a Conservation Agreement under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 to provide legally binding protection for an interim area of almost 430,000 hectares. This Agreement will protect this area while a comprehensive Independent Verification of conservation values and industry timber supply requirements is undertaken. When the outcomes of this process are known, a new Conservation Agreement will be put in place until agreed areas are permanently protected under legislation.
Read the Conservation Agreement
Expert rescheduling advice
To inform the details of the Conservation Agreement, independent forestry experts undertook a thorough investigation of existing harvesting work within the interim area in the Intergovernmental Agreement, and explored all options for rescheduling this harvesting outside the area to the maximum extent possible. Specifically the expert schedulers were appointed to determine:
- what harvesting work is currently occurring in coupes within the ENGO-nominated 430,000 ha area;
- the contractual wood supply that this harvesting is required to meet; and
- whether there are practical alternative coupes outside the 430,000 ha area (and preferably the 572,000 ha area) for meeting these contractual wood supply requirements.
The initial advice prepared by the two independent expert schedulers covered the period to the end of 2011 and was presented to governments and Signatories on 13 October 2011. Following consideration of this initial advice, Signatories requested further information from the independent expert schedulers to clarify and expand on a number of elements. This second report was provided to Signatories on 17 November 2011. As this advice focused on the period to the end of 2011, a further report covering the period to the end of February 2012 was commissioned by the Australian Government and completed on 23 December 2011.
The independent expert forest schedulers found that while some harvesting work could be moved, it was not possible to reschedule harvesting in some coupes. In accordance with the requirements of the Intergovernmental Agreement, which commits to honouring all existing wood supply contracts, these coupes have been excluded from the Conservation Agreement.
Reports of independent expert schedulers appointed under the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement:
- Initial advice (PDF - 431 KB) - 12 October 2011
- Supplementary report (PDF - 939 KB) - 17 November 2011
- Rescheduling work - January and February 2012 (PDF - 667 KB) - 23 December 2011