Victorian Regional Forest Agreements

The Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are agreements between the State of Victoria and the Commonwealth of Australia which provide for sustainable forest management, certainty of access to resources for the renewable forestry industry, and a comprehensive conservation reserve network.

The Victorian RFAs establish a long-term framework for the management and use of Victoria’s major forested regions to implement effective forest conservation, forest management and forest industry practices. The purpose of the Victorian RFAs is to provide:

  • a comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) reserve system and provide for the conservation of those areas
  • ecologically sustainable forest management (ESFM) and use of forests
  • long-term stability of forests and forest-based industries.

There are five RFA regions in Victoria:

The RFA documents for each region can be accessed via the respective web pages above.

Major Event Review

The RFAs provide a framework for the continued sustainable management of Victoria’s forests and forest-based wildlife.

The 2019-20 bushfires have had significant impacts on forests, biodiversity, forestry industries and regional communities. The Australian and Victorian governments have agreed that, as a consequence of the 2019-20 bushfires in Victoria, a Major Event Review (MER) of the Victorian RFAs will be undertaken.

The MER is being undertaken by an independent panel and informed by current information including scientific data and research, community perspectives, and Traditional Owner insights relating to the impacts of the bushfires on the RFA regions.

To find out more, visit our web page for the Major Event Review

Scoping Agreement

The MER commences on signing of the Scoping Agreement, which outlines agreed arrangements for undertaking the review. The signed Scoping Agreement can be found here:

Download

Document Pages File size
Major Event Review Scoping Agreement PDF 12 4.4 MB
Major Event Review Scoping Agreement DOCX msword 12 64 KB

This report may not meet Australian Government accessibility guidelines.

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Extending the Victorian RFAs in 2020

The Australian and Victorian governments extended the Victorian RFAs in March 2020 by a further 10 years as they proved to be a strong and effective framework for the sustainable management of Victorian RFA region forests.

The Victorian RFAs were varied on 30 March 2020 with an extension until 30 June 2030. This extension followed assessment, public consultation, independent review and consideration.

The revised Victorian RFAs offer a modernised approach to forest management, through greater transparency, outcomes-focused reporting and long-term sustainability of a renewable industry.

A report has been prepared to summarise the key changes that have been made to the Victorian RFAs as part of the modernisation and extension process.

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Document Pages File size
Modernised Victorian RFAs – what’s changed DOCX msword 2 32 KB

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Extending the Victorian RFAs in 2020: Assessment of RFA matters

To inform the extension of the Victorian RFAs, the Australian and Victorian governments undertook a further assessment of forest-related environmental, social and economic values in the Victorian RFA regions.

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Document Pages File size
Assessment of matters pertaining to the extension of the Victorian RFAs PDF 415 10.13 MB

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Extending the Victorian RFAs in 2020: Joint Victorian and Australian Government Consultation

The Australian and Victorian Governments jointly undertook extensive public consultation from 3 May to 7 July 2019 to inform the negotiation of extensions to Victoria’s 5 RFAs, including holding over 45 face to face events between 3 June and 7 July.

In total, 135 written submissions and 733 online survey responses were received, and over 330 participants took part in the face to face engagement sessions.

An independent report on the consultation outcomes across all 5 of Victoria’s RFA regions was released in December 2019.

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Document Pages File size
Independent Report on Joint Consultation on Modernisation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements PDF 95 1.9 MB

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A more detailed summary report of input and discussion at the engagement events was also independently prepared for each RFA region. These regional reports are also published below.

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Document Pages File size
Consultation Summary Report – Central Highlands RFA PDF 56 1.1 MB
Consultation Summary Report – East Gippsland RFA PDF 31 1.1 MB
Consultation Summary Report – Gippsland RFA PDF 37 1.1 MB
Consultation Summary Report – North East RFA PDF 37 909 KB
Consultation Summary Report – West Victorian RFA PDF 38 1.4 MB

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A report has been prepared to summarise how changes to modernise the Victorian RFAs have addressed the feedback received throughout the consultation process.

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Document Pages File size
How modernised Victorian RFAs address consultation feedback DOCX  10 56 KB

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Memorandum of Understanding for extension of the Victorian RFAs

On 5 May 2018, the Victorian and Australian governments signed a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that long term extensions and updates to the Victorian RFA framework could be agreed by 31 March 2020.

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Document Pages File size
MoU for the extension of the Victorian RFAs PDF 8 1.17 MB
MoU for the extension of the Victorian RFAs DOCX 8 72 KB

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Annual meetings

The Australian and Victorian Governments have agreed to hold annual meetings as part of their commitment to strengthened communications under the extended Victorian RFAs.

At these meetings, senior officials will discuss the implementation of the amended agreements and any issues which have arisen in the preceding year. A communique summarising the outcomes of these meetings will be made available on this web page.

Five-yearly reviews

It is a requirement of each of the Victorian RFAs that their performance is reviewed every five years. The details of the RFA review process is outlined in the agreements.

The five Victorian RFAs have been reviewed collectively:

Last reviewed: 30 April 2021
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