In accordance with the 1992 National Forest Policy Statement, in February 1995, the Ministerial Council on Forestry, Fisheries and Aquaculture, representing the states, territories and the Australian Government forestry authorities, prepared a statement of national principles to be applied in the management of plantations.
These principles set the framework for a consistent and scientific basis for sound plantation management to which all states and territories subscribe.
The principles are structured into several sections relating to different activities associated with plantation production, including establishment, management and harvesting. The principles apply to both public and private plantations.
Export controls in relation to plantation forestry codes of practice
The Export Control (Unprocessed Wood) Regulations 1986 under the Export Control Act 1982 allow plantation-sourced timber to be exported without a licence if the minister finds that the relevant state or territory's plantation forestry code of practice satisfactorily protects environmental and heritage values.
Before making a decision, the minister must first consider a report prepared by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO). The report contains CSIRO's scientific assessment of how a code protects environmental and heritage values, measured against the requirements of the national principles.
CSIRO's original assessments were undertaken in the late 1990s and early 2000s. As codes had been changed since they were originally assessed, in 2010 CSIRO was commissioned to undertake new assessments of all state and territory plantation forestry code of practice.
The eight reports prepared by CSIRO have been provided to the Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry who has approved seven of the codes covered by the reports. While the code for Queensland was not approved, the Australian Government will continue to work with the Queensland Government to address matters raised by CSIRO. Notices of approval were published in the Government Notices Gazette on 5 June 2013 and 3 July 2013. Copies of the assessment reports prepared by CSIRO are available below.
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