RFAs failed

Numerous assessments, inquiries, court cases and audits show that RFAs have failed comprehensively. They are an environmental debacle, a source of ongoing conflict and a never-ending drain on the public purse. Indigenous rights and interests have received scant attention.

The domestic wood products industry meanwhile has voted with its feet and shifted almost entirely to plantations. While RFAs have given the logging industry unparalleled access to native forests, opportunities to create new jobs and businesses in regional areas have languished as publicly owned native forests are liquidated for logs.

RFAs are outdated and discredited. They cannot credibly be extended on the basis of environmental, social and economic assessments dating back to the 1990s or earlier. Nor can they continue to accredit state government systems and processes that have demonstrably failed.

Environmental failure

Lindenmeyer, DB et al, 2017, Regional Forest Agreements fail to meet their aims. Species declines and unsustainable forestry evident under RFAs. Ecological Society of Australia. Hot topics in ecology
Complete with a comprehensive reference list

Regional Forest Agreements in NSW. Have they achieved their aims? (2016)
A review of the evidence concludes that RFAs have not achieved any of their top line aims. They are a failed model for forest management.

State Forests, National Interests: a review of the Tasmanian RFA (2015)
Tasmania’s forest management framework lacks environmental integrity and transparency. The RFA exemption should be removed

Lindenmeyer DB et al, Ignoring the science in failing to conserve a faunal icon (2015)
Government policies that result in clearfelling of montane ash forests run counter to the large body of science indicating what is needed to conserve Leadbeater’s possum, recently upgraded from ‘endangered’ to ‘critically endangered’

Cherry Tree State Forest NSW – logging audit (2015)
Damning audit shows multiple breaches of recovery plans, licences and harvesting plans, including 41 breaches of Threatened Species Licence

Ticked off: how karri forest logging threatens wildlife and the credibility of the FSC standard (2015)
Karri logging is contributing to the decline of listed threatened species including the Western Ringtail Possum, Quokka, Woylie, Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and Baudin’s Cockatoo

Forestry agreements need a full overhaul, not just a tick and flick. David Lindenmeyer, The Conversation (2015)

One Stop Chop: how Regional Forest Agreements streamline environmental destruction (2013)
Biodiversity protection in native forests is weaker than if logging was regulated directly under commonwealth environmental laws

If a tree falls: compliance failures in the public forests of New South Wales (2011)
Community audits have revealed a pattern of systemic non-compliance with environmental laws in our public native forests

Public cost

John Lawrence: Forestry Tasmania’s demise in detail (2017)
How Forestry Tasmania (now Sustainable Timbers Tasmania) lost $1 billion since 2004