The third NSW RFAs Annual Meeting of Officials took place by videoconference on 4 November 2021. The meeting was attended by officials from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the NSW Government Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (which includes the Environment Protection Authority and the Environment, Energy and Science group), Department of Regional NSW (which includes NSW Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services) and the NSW Natural Resources Commission.
The meeting and this communique satisfy the requirements of clauses 8B and 8C of the three NSW RFAs for the Eden, North‑East and Southern regions:
- 8B: The Parties agree to hold annual officials-level, bi-lateral meetings in the years between each five-yearly review to monitor the implementation of the Agreement and discuss any matters or issues that arise.
- 8C: An online statement will be made publicly available on the outcomes of the meeting.
Officials received updates on matters relating to the NSW Forest Management Framework and noted that an updated version of the document Overview of the NSW Forest Management Framework (FMF) was published in March 2021.
Officials from the NSW Environment Protection Authority provided an update on recent additions to the Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative reserve system. This included discussion about transfers of forest estate into formal reserve under the NSW Koala Strategy.
NSW officials provided detail on the completion of the Sustainable Yield review in response to the 2019-20 Black Summer Bushfires, including forecast supply reductions and impacts on wood supply agreements.
Officials discussed research priorities and recent developments for forest-related monitoring, evaluation and reporting in NSW. An update was provided by the NSW Natural Resources Commission on the progress of the NSW Forest Monitoring and Improvement Program - 2019 - 2024. An update was also provided by NSW officials on the development of the Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Plan as required under the RFAs.
Officials discussed compliance activities for a range of forest management matters including for the Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals and for the Private Native Forestry Codes.
Officials discussed developments for the five‑yearly review in 2024, as required by clauses 8A and 8B of the NSW RFAs. This included the outcomes focused Progress Report, draft Scoping Agreement and draft Joint Communications Plan.
Officials discussed the format and expectations of future annual meetings and agreed to discuss this further offline.
Officials noted that the next annual meeting is required to be held no later than 28 November 2022 and agreed to meet before that date.
4 November 2021