Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Native forestry

Review of Private Native Forestry Code of Practice

In 2013, the Office of Environment and Heritage and the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) finalised the review of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 and the Private Native Forestry (PNF) Code of Practice.

Changes to native vegetation regulation for private native forestry

The Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 was Gazetted on 16 August 2013 and commenced on 23 September 2013.

A number of changes to the regulation affect all PNF property vegetation plan (PVP) landholders, including:

  • The definition of PNF has been expanded to include Crown land that is not Crown timber land – this will allow landholders with these types of Crown leases to obtain a PNF PVP.
  • The Minister for the Environment can make a natural resource management plan to identify trees that have regrown following PNF as ‘protected regrowth’.
  • PNF PVP landholders clearing under the rural infrastructure routine agricultural management activity (RAMA) in non-critical environmental areas are now required to implement minimum tree retention rates set out in clause 4.2 of the PNF Code of Practice. The change does not apply in critical environmental areas (riparian exclusion zones, old growth forest, rainforest or on steep land) because these areas are already protected from logging under the PNF Code.

For more information on the changes, including new RAMAs and how they may affect you, please refer to the fact sheet on the commencement of the Native Vegetation Regulation 2013: Information Sheet: What’s new for landholders? (PDF 428KB).

Changes to the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice

Following the review of the PNF Code of Practice, the EPA amended the seasonality rules for logging on steep slopes in the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Area under the PNF Code of Practice for Northern NSW (PDF 616KB). For more information on the changes, please refer to the fact sheet: Changes to the Private Native Forestry Code of Practice for Northern NSW (PDF 47KB).

The amendments were published in the NSW Government Gazette on 16 August 2013 and commenced on 23 September 2013.

Landholders affected by the rules for logging on steep slopes in the Northern Rivers Catchment Management Area in the 2008 PNF Code of Practice for Northern NSW will be contacted by the EPA and invited to vary their PVPs to adopt the new Code. 

All new PVPs approved in Northern NSW after 16 August 2013 will adopt the new PNF Code of Practice for NSW.

The review process and outcomes

A draft of the proposed Native Vegetation Regulation 2013 and the PNF Code of Practice were released for public consultation in 2012. A discussion paper about protection of koala habitat under the PNF framework was also released, and community feedback was sought about how to improve the identification and protection of koala habitat. Additionally, the EPA held two information sessions about logging limitations on steep slopes in the PNF Code of Practice for Northern NSW.

During the public consultation period, the EPA ran nine PNF-specific information sessions around the state. Six information sessions were also held with local councils and peak industry and conservation stakeholders specifically on koala management under the PNF Code.

The EPA received 136 submissions in relation to PNF, with 47 submissions focussing on koalas. A  summary (PDF 204KB) of submissions received was produced.

In response to feedback received during the public consultation period, the NSW Government will update the PNF Code of Practice to address specific issues raised. A more comprehensive review of the PNF Code will be conducted at a later stage.

Next steps

In addition to changes to the PNF Code of Practice for Northern NSW, the EPA is also developing an updated approach to improve how koala habitat is identified and protected under the PNF Code. The EPA will consult further with stakeholders on options to address this issue.

The government is currently reviewing approvals for logging in state forests in coastal NSW, called Integrated Forestry Operations Approvals or IFOAs. Upon completion of the review of the IFOAs, the EPA will comprehensively review the PNF Code. The objectives of the review will be to address broader issues raised during the public consultation period.

Page last updated: 25 November 2016