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.
2015/16 Audit Reports
2014 Audit Reports
This audit involved field examination of 24 coupes harvested or proposed for harvest in 2013/14 and 10 regenerated coupes that were proposed for hand back by VicForests.
VicForests response to Audit of Harvesting and Closure and Regeneration and Finalisation 2014 (PDF, 1.0 MB)
VicForests response to Audit of Harvesting and Closure and Regeneration and Finalisation 2014 (accessible version) (DOCX, 99.3 KB)
DELWP (regulator's) response to Audit of Harvesting and Closure and Regeneration and Finalisation 2014 (PDF, 203.6 KB)
DELWP (regulator's) response to Audit of Harvesting and Closure and Regeneration and Finalisation 2014 (accessible version) (DOCX, 176.5 KB)
2013 Audit Reports
This audit involved field examination of 26 regenerated coupes that were proposed for hand back by VicForests.
VicForests response to audit of Coupe Regeneration and Finalisation 2012/13 (PDF, 983.2 KB)
VicForests response to audit of Coupe Regeneration and Finalisation 2012/13 (accessible version) (DOCX, 82.3 KB)
This audit involved field examination of 40 coupes that were harvested during the 2010/11 and 2011/12 seasons.
2012 Audit Reports
This audit assessed the timber release plan development and approval process.
This audit assessed conformance of 49 Forest Coupe Plans for coupes established during the 2010/11 harvesting season against regulatory requirements. Separate reports were prepared for each of the managing authorities (former DEPI (Western Victoria) and VicForests (Eastern Victoria)).
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.
This audit assessed the compliance of coupes nominated for hand back by VicForests in 2011 against relevant regeneration standards.
Use of aerial photography:
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.
This audit involved field examination of compliance at 27 coupes harvested during the 2008/09 season.