New opportunity for on-farm forests

NSW Farmers has welcomed the state government’s changes to private native forestry codes to ensure the long term sustainability of this important component of land management.

The new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice will help farmers manage their native forests with certainty, according to NSW Farmers Conservation and Resource Management Committee Chair Bronwyn Petrie.

“Years have been lost for rural land owners to manage their native forests while the process has been tied up in unnecessary red tape and restrictions,” Mrs Petrie said.

“The new codes recognise the responsible management of timber on private land, and seek to take away the outdated and cumbersome regulations that have stifled the opportunities to develop this important agricultural land management activity.

“With the critical shortage of timber in NSW, we welcome the release of these new codes of practice designed to facilitate this important agricultural industry.”

Private Native Forestry was a sustainable and beneficial way to manage private land and contribute to local farming and supporting industries, Mrs Petrie said. However, she said, there was still work to be done to ensure these on farm activities reached their potential.

“There is a critical need for timber supplies in NSW and importing from overseas is not in anyone’s interests,” Mrs Petrie said.

“We need development of the codes to increase the flexibility of operations to benefit new technology and practice in the industry, and I think the Forest Stewardship Plans will be an important addition.

“Ultimately, with this opportunity comes an obligation on the NSW Government to significantly increase funding and staffing levels to Local Land Services to maximise the use of the codes and the economic and environmental outcomes that can be derived.”

The new codes come into effect on Monday, May 2.

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