Terms of reference for an independent facilitator

​Tasmanian forests statement of principles leading to an agreement

Context

During 2010, forest industry, union and environment non-government organisations collaborated to develop the Tasmanian Forests Statement of Principles to lead to an Agreement (the Statement). The intent of the Statement is to resolve the conflict over forests in Tasmania, protect native forests, and develop a strong sustainable timber industry.

Governments were not part of the development of the Statement. Signatories to the Statement presented it to the Tasmanian Government on 18 October 2010 and to the Commonwealth Government on 22 November 2010.

The Statement demonstrates strong goodwill between the Signatories and support for developing a detailed Agreement. However, there is considerable detail to be developed before an Agreement could be concluded and it is apparent that there remains a divergence of views between the Signatories and with other stakeholder groups.

The task

The Australian and Tasmanian Governments wish to assist the signatories to the Statement and other stakeholder groups to reach a common understanding and interpretation of the Statement and to develop an implementation plan that would allow an Agreement to be concluded.

Terms of reference

As a high-level independent facilitator the principal role is to act as an honest broker to bring stakeholders together to further develop the principles under the Statement and prepare an implementation plan. The Facilitator’s Terms of Reference require him to:

  • work with the Signatories and other stakeholder groups to determine how they wish to engage with each other and with governments to develop an implementation plan. This will be guided by the steps outlined in the Statement of Principles;
  • work with the Signatories and other stakeholders to develop further detail and reach a common understanding of the principles under the Statement;
  • facilitate agreement on, and access to, key data and information that allows assessment of available resources, the long-term industry structure and community (social and economic) implications of implementing the Statement;
  • advise the Signatories, other stakeholder groups and governments on areas of common agreement, areas unable to be agreed and potential to reach an enduring Agreement;
  • report regularly to both Governments on progress and make any interim recommendations which would assist progress; and,
  • facilitate the preparation of an implementation plan that would allow an Agreement to be developed and concluded.

The facilitator will not have authority to commit governments, signatories or other stakeholders to any actions or expenditure.

The facilitator will report back to all parties by the end of June 2011.

The facilitator will be supported by a small secretariat provided by the Australian Government.