The Victorian and Australian Governments have signed a Memorandum of Understanding and committed to working towards delivering a modernised and harmonised RFA framework to meet the needs of communities, industry and the environment.

In addition to making practical improvements to enhance the performance of the Victorian RFA framework, the RFAs will also be amended and modernised to reflect changes that have occurred in the twenty years since they commenced. The Victorian and Australian governments acknowledge the impacts of climate change, extreme weather events (including drought and bushfires), scientific and technological progress, advances in our understanding of forests and ecosystems, changing forest-based industries and opportunities, and the recognition of the rights of Victoria’s Traditional Owners to partner in land management and seek economic and cultural opportunities.

To ensure the modernised RFAs enable future forest management that delivers the highest and best value uses of Victoria’s forests to communities, the Victorian and Australian Governments are seeking to understand the community’s views on opportunities to improve the Victorian RFAs. Your input will also help to inform the Victorian Government as it implements its program of reform and improvement for forest management.

Dr William Jackson was appointed to develop an independent consultation paper that would provide an overview of the RFAs performance to date and form a basis for the community to provide feedback on what they believe needs to be changed or improved in the RFAs for the future. The Independent Consultation Paper – Modernisation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements provides an explanation of what the Victorian RFAs are, how they operate, and how effective they have been. In his paper, Dr Jackson also recommends areas for improvement to the Victorian RFAs.

We are now seeking your views on opportunities to improve the Victorian RFAs so that future forest management delivers the highest and best value uses of forests for Victorian communities. 

Read the Independent Consultation Paper – Modernisation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (PDF, 838.5 KB).

How you can respond

The Victorian and Australian Governments are actively seeking community input to inform the modernisation of the Victorian RFAs, and there are a number of ways you can get involved. You can:

  • Lodge a written submission (open until 30 June 2019)
  • Respond to an online survey (open until 30 June 2019)
  • Meet face-to-face with Victorian and Australian Government representatives at a drop-in event in your RFA region in June 2019

To lodge a written submission or respond to the online survey, please visit the Engage Victoria site.

For details about upcoming engagement events in your RFA region, check out our current and upcoming opportunities.

About the Author

Dr William (Bill) Jackson is an independent environmental consultant with extensive experience in forest conservation, protected area management and community development.  

He runs his own company Intellagama Pty Ltd and is an adjunct Professor at the University of the Sunshine Coast. 

Dr Jackson held the positions of Chief Executive Officer of Parks Victoria and Director of National Parks for the State of Victoria from late 2010 until June 2015.  

Prior to his appointment to Parks Victoria, Dr Jackson was Deputy Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  He helped establish the general direction and strategy for IUCN and provided top-level direction for the implementation of their conservation program worldwide. 

Dr Jackson previously held various positions in the IUCN including Director of the Global Program and Head of Forest Conservation. During his 13 years with the IUCN, Dr Jackson worked on a wide range of conservation and development issues in developing countries in Africa and Asia.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Regional Forest Agreement?

Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) are agreements between the Australian Government and states that establish the framework for the sustainable management of forests within each of the RFA regions. The Victorian RFAs:

  • identify a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system and provide for the conservation of those areas
  • provide for the ecologically sustainable management and use of forests in each RFA region
  • provide for the long-term stability of forests and forest industries

Victoria has five RFAs signed between 1997 and 2000, and all five RFAs are due to expire in March 2020.

How can I provide input?

There are a number of ways you can provide input. You can:

  • Lodge a written submission (open until 30 June 2019)
  • Respond to an online survey (open until 30 June 2019)
  • Meet face-to-face with Victorian and Australian Government representatives at a drop-in event in your RFA region in June 2019

To lodge a written submission or respond to the online survey, please visit the Engage Victoria site.

For details about upcoming engagement events in your RFA region, check out our current and upcoming opportunities.

Who is the author of the Independent Consultation paper?

Dr William (Bill) Jackson authored the Independent Consultation Paper – Modernisation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements.

Dr Jackson is an independent environmental consultant with extensive experience in forest conservation, protected area management and community development.

I have a specific issues I want to provide feedback on; or, how do I provide feedback on a specific theme or area for improvement identified in the Independent Consultation Paper?

You have multiple options for providing your input to the RFA modernisation process.

You can respond to an online survey, lodge a written submission or talk to us at a community drop-in centre.

You are welcome to participate in one or all of these opportunities. Likewise, you are welcome to answer as many or as few of the consultation questions as you choose.

How will the information be used?

The input you contribute will directly inform the RFA modernisation process.

Your responses will be considered alongside those contributed by other individuals and organisations and assist the Victorian and Australian Governments to understand what Victorians want for their forests and how the Victorian RFAs can be improved to support this.

Your input will also help to inform the Victorian Government as it implements its program of reform and improvement for forest management.

Will my submission and online survey responses be confidential?

Your submission and online survey responses will be made publicly available. Likewise, notes from face-to-face engagement events will also be public documents.

You can request that your input be anonymous, if that is your preference.

When does the online survey and submission period close?

You can respond to the online survey or lodge a written submission on the Engage Victoria site until 30 June 2019.

Will there be a report summarising the outcomes of this consultation?

Yes, in July 2019 we will analyse all the input we received via the online survey, written submissions and face-to-face engagement and prepare a report summarising what we heard. The report will be made publicly available on the Future of our Forests website.

Is this different to the Office of the Conservation Regulator?

The Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR) was established early in 2019 to oversee DELWP’s regulatory functions in conservation and environment, including:

  • priority setting for regulatory activities;
  • informing and educating about the law;
  • providing clear standards and guidance; and
  • monitoring compliance and enforcing the law.

The OCR is committed to working with the Victorian community, fellow regulators, Traditional Owners, business and environment groups to ensure Victoria’s environment is protected and managed for current and future generations.

While the OCR is different to the RFA modernisation process, they both form part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to reform how our forests are managed to strengthen environmental protections and deliver greater community value from our forests.

You can find out more about this work at https://www2.delwp.vic.gov.au/our-department/regulator.

Page last updated: 03/05/19