MINISTER for Primary Industry Katrina Hodgkinson has started serious negotiations to transform the regulations for the forest industry in NSW coastal regions from being driven by process to being focused on outcomes.
The outcomes are expected to streamline and simplify the conditions for carrying out harvesting operations, within environmental protection parameters, to enable industry to operate more efficiently and make compliance meaningful and worthwhile.
Unfortunately the NSW timber industry operates in one of the most complex regulatory regimes in existence but hopefully that's about to change for a more practical-based approach.
Most people don't realise there are more than 2000 individual prescriptions that have to be checked off in the planning and harvesting process, all of which costs a lot of money. The pre-harvest planning process costs on average $25,000 per compartment and takes months to do and pass. In some cases the investment in meeting these rigorous compliance obligations exceeds the commercial return of the actual forestry operations.
Let's all hope commonsense prevails and a positive outcome is achieved.
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