The first NSW RFAs Annual Meeting of Officials took place in Sydney on 31 October 2019. The meeting was attended by officials from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Department of the Environment and Energy and the NSW Government Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (which includes NSW Department of Primary Industries (NSW DPI), Environment Protection Authority, Local Land Services and the Environment, Energy and Science group).
On 28 November 2018, the three NSW RFAs for the Eden, North‑East and Southern regions were varied to include improvements and a rolling 20 year extension by the Parties. In accordance with the requirements of the varied RFAs clauses 8B and 8C, the Parties held an annual meeting to monitor the implementation of the Agreement and discuss any matters or issues that arisen since the variation.
Officials discussed updates and progress on a range of matters relating to changes to the NSW Forest Management Framework that had occurred since the RFA variations were signed, primarily arising from machinery of government changes in NSW.
Officials discussed the programs underway and recent developments for monitoring, evaluation and reporting in NSW, including processes to identify research priorities. Specific documents referenced and discussed included the NSW Forest Monitoring and Improvement Program – Program Framework 2019 – 2024 and the Draft Coastal Integrated Forestry Approvals Monitoring Program 2019 – 2024 – For public review – October 2019.
Officials discussed compliance processes and programs in place on a range of matters including forestry operations.
Officials discussed sustainable yield, with specific reference to the update of the NSW DPI document Sustainable Yield in New South Wales Regional Forest Agreement regions.
Consistent with relevant clauses in the RFAs, officials noted the process for notification on changes to the Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative (CAR) reserve system.
Officials commenced consideration of the process that will be used to support the five‑yearly review in 2024, as required by clauses 8A and 8B of the NSW RFAs. In support of that review, the development of a draft five-year work plan was discussed. Officials also discussed the process and requirements to be prepared for RFA rolling extensions.
NSW officials provided an update on the impact of the recent bushfires across NSW. Officials committed to meet in early 2020 to further discuss the impact of fires and implications for the RFAs.
Officials noted that the next annual meeting is required to be held no later than 28 November 2020 and agreed to meet before that date.
31 October 2019