Reporting timber harvesting issues to us
We have the responsibility to ensure that timber harvesting and associated activities are planned and conducted in Victoria's State forests in accordance with the environmental regulatory framework.
Anyone can report information to us regarding the detection of threatened species in timber harvesting areas or potential timber harvesting compliance issues.
Status of forest reports
Below are status updates for forest reports submitted after 1 January 2016 (updated fortnightly).
- threatened species - forest reports received regarding the detection of threatened species
- compliance investigations - forest reports received regarding timber harvesting compliance information
A proportion of forest reports include both threatened species and timber harvesting compliance information. These types of forest reports are assigned the same forest report reference number and included in both the threatened species and compliance investigations status updates.
Occasionally, forest reports received are general enquiries about timber harvesting or submissions that do not require the application of, or assessment against, the relevant environmental regulatory framework for timber harvesting. These reports relate to broader forest management or policy issues, or are about issues that fall under other legislation or regulations (for example indigenous and cultural heritage). These reports are assigned a forest report reference number and are referred on to the appropriate team. These report reference numbers will not appear in either the threatened species or compliance investigations status updates on this page. Submitters of reports will receive notification if their report has been assessed as requiring response through another avenue.
Note that some reports with similar issues, or about a specific area, are ultimately combined under one reference number.
We are working on accessible versions of these reports. For accessible versions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitting reports to us
Reports and any relevant supporting evidence should be submitted via email to email@example.com
Minimum information requirements for forest reports
We require the following information to be included in all forest reports:
- contact details of the person(s) submitting the report (the names of the person(s) submitting reports will be treated confidentially if requested)
- the date, time and location (preferably a verifiable location) of the observation or survey
- detailed description of the observations made, including any relevant regulatory rules that have allegedly been breached, or a description of the survey method used to detect threatened species; and
- original (unedited) copies of any relevant supporting evidence collected for your report (photographs, video, etc.)
Where these minimum information requirements are not met, we will contact the person submitting the report to request additional information. If the required information is not received, we may not be able to progress some actions associated with the report.
Verification criteria for threatened species reports
Some threatened species attract special protective measures for commercial timber harvesting operations. We will review and verify all threatened species reports to determine if they trigger such protective measures under the Code of Practice for Timber Production 2014.
Threatened species reports need to be verified to ensure accuracy before any formal protective action is undertaken. We will use the following verification criteria:
- the species was accurately identified by the person submitting the report
- the reported location of the survey can be verified (this requires the presentation of evidence or may require a follow up field inspection by DELWP)
- the presence of the species at the location is supported through presentation of legitimate evidence
- some species require a verification field survey to be undertaken by DELWP to verify the presence or density of the species
Evidence showing a verifiable location
We can most efficiently verify threatened species reports where clear photographs or video footage of a threatened species can be linked to a known location recorded by a GPS device.
We recommend that forest reports include photographs or video footage showing the satellite coordinates of the reported detection location.
A date/time stamp can be used to link a photograph of the GPS device to a date/time stamped photograph or video footage of a threatened species.
Where remote cameras (images or video footage) are used to detect threatened species, the survey team should try to capture an image of a GPS device showing the satellite coordinates of the location, or position the equipment so that they capture a readily identifiable natural feature at the location (e.g. distinguishable rock or tree).
Timber Harvesting Safety Zones
Active timber harvesting coupes are hazardous work sites that must be carefully managed to ensure safety. Significant public safety risks occur when unauthorised persons enter timber harvesting areas. Everyone has the right to work safely and the government has introduced new measures designed to deter unauthorised entry into timber harvesting areas.
On 28 May 2014, amendments to the Sustainable Forests (Timber) Act 2004 (SFTA) became effective. The SFTA now provides for the establishment of timber harvesting safety zones.
Species-specific survey standards
We have established the following species-specific survey standards.