Forestry head reveals key points of Coffs RFA forum
FEEDBACK from the consultation session held in Coffs Harbour and five other regional locations about the NSW Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) has been made public.
Climate change, industry certainty and regulatory compliance are just a handful of topics discussed as the 20-year agreements between the NSW and Australian Governments undergo review.
Discussions have been drama charged with protesters holding a rally outside C.ex Coffs as the forum proceeded inside while last week both the National Parks Association and Nature Conservation Council withdrew from a meeting with the NSW Government.
However, this has not halted the process and Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Group Director, Forestry, Nick Milham, said stakeholder feedback is imperative at this stage and views will help shape the renewed agreements.
"Consultation is a genuine chance to influence what form the NSW RFA's take for the sustainable management of our native forests for decades to come,” he said.
"In the (regional) sessions we heard from many environmental groups, industry members, local governments, the community and recreational forest users.
"Feedback, questions, criticisms and endorsements have been welcomed and it has been great to hear the community's views first hand.
"The NSW Government has the difficult role of balancing the economic, social and environmental demands on forests.
"But there is sound logic, underpinned by peer-reviewed, internationally published science, to renew RFA's.
"The only decision made so far are is the RFA's will be renewed and that their objectives and geographical regions will remain unchanged.
"The rest is on the table.
"It's not too late for stakeholders to have their say online and we encourage those stakeholders yet to make a submission to strongly consider doing so.”
Submissions close at 5pm on March 12.
These may be made at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au