Communique 23 July 2020
The third Tasmanian RFA Annual Meeting of Officials took place over videoconference on 23 July 2020. The meeting was attended by Senior Officials from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, the Tasmanian Government Department of State Growth, and the Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.
This meeting satisfies the requirements of clause 9A of the Tasmanian RFA:
The Parties agree to hold annual officials-level, bi-lateral meetings in the years between each 5 yearly review to monitor the implementation of the Agreement and discuss any issues that arise.
Officials received updates on matters relating to changes to the Tasmanian Forest Management System (FMS). It was reported that there had been no significant changes to Tasmania’s CAR reserve since the last annual meeting.
Officials were updated on changes to the Forest Practices Act 1985, which came into effect in October 2019. Officials noted that the update to the Forest Practices Code by the Forest Practices Authority is in its final stages of approval. Updates were also provided regarding Forest Practices Authority compliance reporting and certification trends.
Preparation for the five-yearly review due to commence in 2022 has continued, with the endorsement of a draft five year work plan. Officials discussed the process that will be used to support the five-yearly review in 2022, as required by clauses 9B of the Tasmanian RFA. Officials also discussed how the Tasmanian State of the Forests Report could contribute environmental, economic and social information to the review and agreed on draft terms for a Scoping Agreement, to be elevated to lead Ministers for their consideration.
Tasmanian officials provided updates on the impact of the 2019-20 bushfires on forest values, as well as the impacts of COVID-19 on the forestry industry.
Officials agreed to meet for the next annual meeting in July 2021, noting that the meeting is required to be held no later than 18 August 2021.