We have  the responsibility as the state environmental regulator. We ensure  that commercial timber harvesting activities are compliant with Victoria's environmental regulatory framework. Our  responsibility also includes auditing to check industry compliance with the requirements set out in the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014.

We commission environmental audits to measure compliance of commercial timber harvesting. Independent environmental auditors are commonly used to conduct the audit projects.

We have commissioned audits under the forest audit program since 2011.  A number of changes to the audit program have occurred since then to allow for a more risk-based approach.

The findings from these audits are continuously used to improve operational practices and the published audit reports enhance transparency in forest management arrangements.

If you have a complaint or concerns about potential non-compliance matters, please visit Forest reports.

2015 Audit Schedule

Our commissioned audit projects in 2015 focused on the following three key compliance priorities:

  • Construction and maintenance of coupe roads
  • Construction and rehabilitation of waterway crossings
  • The protection of mandatory exclusion areas from the impacts of timber harvesting

The projects were completed in 2016 and the audit reports will be published following DELWP’s response to the recommendations.

We are also undertaking a rainforest spot checks program to examine the performance of VicForests in the identification and protection of rainforest values. This project will include review of forest coupe planning and field verification of rainforest values.

2012 Audit Reports

This audit assessed the compliance of commercial timber harvesting operations conducted during 2009/10 and 2010/11 against various harvesting boundaries and cumulative harvest limits. This was a spatial audit of logging history against regulatory requirements.

Harvesting Performance August 2012 Report (PDF, 1.3 MB)
Harvesting Performance August 2012 (accessible) (DOC, 1.5 MB)
Harvesting Performance August 2012 Appendices (PDF, 9.2 MB)

VicForests response to Harvesting Performance August 2012 (PDF, 243.5 KB)
VicForests response to Harvesting Performance August 2012 (accessible) (DOC, 155.0 KB)

2011 Audit Reports

This audit involved a desktop assessment of VicForests compliance with the annual and cumulative harvest limits in Melbourne's water catchments as well as compliance with the 2006-2011 and 2009-2014 Timber Release Plans during the 2008/09 harvest season. The former DEPI compliance with the Wood Utilisation Plan was also assessed.

Harvesting Performance 2011 (PDF, 2.1 MB)
Harvesting Performance 2011 (accessible) (DOC, 2.4 MB)

This audit involved field examination of compliance at 27 coupes harvested during the 2008/09 season.

Harvesting and Closure 2011 (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Harvesting and Closure 2011 (accessible) (DOC, 1.8 MB)