Prior to any harvesting a thorough multi-layered planning process is undertaken to consider the management of the many environmental and other values present in the forest.
Following this process, a proposed Timber Release Plan (TRP) is prepared and submitted to the VicForests Board for approval.
The TRP is provided to Stakeholders for comment and are generally made on an annual basis, although changes can be made at other times including where exceptional circumstances exist (for example following major bushfires). Although we hold a formal engagement period during the TRP VicForests encourages stakeholders to engage with us at any time during the process.
The Legislative Framework
After the Allocation Order to VicForests has been gazetted by the Minister for Agriculture, a Timber Release Plan (TRP) is developed. Timber Release Plans show the location of areas which may be sustainably harvested and regenerated by VicForests.
After the TRP is approved, VicForests must strictly abide by the conditions of the Allocation Order and all other regulatory requirements.
The TRP is prepared in accordance with the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004. They provide a range of information including:
A schedule of coupes selected for timber harvesting
The location and approximate timing of timber harvesting in the proposed coupes
The location of any associated access roads.
The TRP may be reviewed and changed in accordance with the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004.
VicForests undertakes a detailed planning process to determine where future operations may occur.
The placement and amount of harvesting operations proposed is guided by VicForests' Resource Outlook which considers a range of operational, environmental, economic and business constraints.
Each new area considered to be included on a TRP is subject to desktop and field assessments that aim to highlight potential forest biodiversity, social, historical, cultural, soil and water issues that may require management prior to and during the proposed operation.
Planning for how each site will be successfully regenerated also commences at this early stage.
Public Consultation period
All coupes proposed for a TRP are evaluated by a number of stakeholders including the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, the Department of Economic Development, Jobs Transport and Resources, Parks Victoria and Aboriginal Affairs Victoria. We also provide the opportunity for the local community, individuals and groups to review our initial plans when they are available and provide comment where appropriate.
A period of up to four weeks is provided for stakeholders to submit comments regarding proposed changes to a TRP, and this opportunity is advertised in local newspapers, via direct mail, email notification and on our website. VicForests endeavours to respond to all enquiries received during this period.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact details if you wish to be notified directly regarding future TRP Changes.
Following stakeholder consultation, TRP documentation and the annual planning process is verified as being consistent with all legislative requirements before being submitted to the VicForests Board for approval.
Changes to the TRP are generally made on an annual basis; although they can be made at other times where exceptional circumstances exist (for example following major bushfires).
Timber Release Plan – Documentation and Maps
VicForests resource is managed across two regions, each of which are broken up into smaller Forest Management Areas (FMAs) and planning districts.