Program to assess, engage and modernise Victoria's RFAs

Victorians are invited to register their interest in becoming involved in the modernisation of Victoria’s RFAs.

Over the next 2 years, DELWP will be partnering with Traditional Owners and engaging with Victorian communities and stakeholders on how they value Victoria’s forests.

We will be updating our assessments of forest values, including:

  • environmental values,
  • cultural values,
  • indigenous heritage values,
  • economic values,
  • social values and
  • principles of ecologically sustainable management.

And we want to hear as many voices as possible.

We will use the outcomes of our engagement and assessments processes to inform the modernisation of Victoria’s regional forest agreements (RFAs) and to update Victoria’s forest planning and regulatory framework, to ensure they provide for sustainable forest management for the future.

To register your interest in being involved in this process contact future.rfa@delwp.vic.gov.au.

What are Regional Forest Agreements?

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.

Victoria has 5 RFAs, and the conditions of all 5 RFAs have been preserved until 2020.

The main objectives of the Victorian RFAs are:

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

The RFAs are a key outcome of the National Forest Policy Statement (1992) through which the Australian, state and territory governments committed to the sustainable management of all Australian forests, whether the forest is on public or private land, or reserved or available for timber production.

See also Regional Forest Agreements on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Read about the National Forest Policy Statement.

Read the memorandum of understanding between the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments which sets out actions to be undertaken to deliver a modernised and harmonised RFA framework by March 2020: Memorandum of Understanding: Modernising Victoria's Regional Forest Agreement Framework (PDF, 1012.3 KB).

Five yearly review of Victoria's RFAs

Each of the Victorian RFAs requires a five-yearly review of the performance of the RFAs. The five-yearly reviews provide an assessment of progress made against the RFAs.

A review of progress with implementation of the Victorian RFAs from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2014 is now complete.

This five-yearly review provides an assessment of progress made against the RFAs and includes:

  • the extent to which milestones and obligations have been met, including the management of the National Estate
  • the results of monitoring of sustainability indicators
  • invited public comment on the performance of the Agreement

Under the terms of the Victorian RFAs, the review does not open up the RFAs to re-negotiation, however following the completion of the review the Parties may agree to minor modifications to the RFAs to incorporate the outcomes of the review.

Five yearly review report

Victorian RFAs five-yearly review report November 2017 (DOCX, 683.0 KB)

Victorian RFAs five-yearly review report November 2017 (PDF, 2.5 MB)

The report was jointly prepared by the Victorian and Australian governments. It assesses the progress made in implementing the RFAs between 1 July 2009 and 30 June 2014 (Period 3). It also provides information on the progress with implementation of the actions in the Joint Government Response to the combined first and second five-yearly review of the Victorian RFAs.

The third five-yearly review of the Victorian RFAs formally commenced in May 2016 upon signing of a scoping agreement for the review by the Victorian Government and Commonwealth of Australia.

Scoping Agreement (PDF, 889.0 KB)

The Scoping Agreement provides for the five Victorian RFAs to be reviewed simultaneously. The review covers the period from 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2014.

Independent reviewer’s report

Mr Graham Wilkinson of Tasmania, was appointed to review the progress of performance against the milestones, commitments and obligations of the Victorian RFAs for the period 2009‑2014.

Mr Wilkinson provided the Australian and Victorian governments with his report, Independent review of the Report on progress with implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements: Period 3 – 2009-2014. The report includes consideration of the implementation report, public submissions received during the consultation period and other resources. The independent review was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 18 June 2018.

The Independent Review provided 14 recommendations for the Australian and Victorian governments to consider in the ongoing implementation of the five Victorian RFA’s.

The Independent Reviewer’s report and recommendations can be found here: Independent review of the Report on progress with implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements: Period 3 – 2009-2014 (PDF, 2.5 MB)

Joint Government response

The Australian and Victorian governments responded to the Independent Review’s 14 recommendations in Joint Australian and Victorian Government Response to the ‘Independent Review of the Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs): Period 3 – 2009-2014’.

The report was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 18 June 2018.

The joint Government response can be found here:

Joint Australian and Victorian Government Response to the ‘Independent Review of the Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs): Period 3 – 2009-2014'
(PDF, 174.9 KB)

Joint Australian and Victorian Government Response to the ‘Independent Review of the Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs): Period 3 – 2009-2014'
(DOC, 153.5 KB)

A review of progress with implementation of the Victorian RFAs from the date the RFAs were signed to 30 June 2009 is complete.

The combined first and second five-yearly review formally commenced in September 2009 upon signing of a scoping agreement for the review by the Victorian Government and Commonwealth of Australia (the Parties).

Scoping Agreement (PDF, 60.1 KB)

The Scoping Agreement provided for the five Victorian RFAs to be reviewed simultaneously. The review covered two periods: the first from the date the RFAs were signed to 30 June 2004 and the second from 1 July 2004 to 30 June 2009, and satisfied the requirement to undertake a review of the performance of the RFAs for the first two five year periods.

As part of the review process, members of the public had an opportunity to comment on the Draft Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs).

A Draft Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (PDF, 1.1 MB)

The Victorian and Australian governments appointed Ms Leanne Wallace of New South Wales as the Independent Reviewer. Ms Wallace considered the Draft Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) and all public submissions that were received by the Parties during the public consultation period in preparing her report.

The Independent Review on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 28 September 2010.

Independent Review on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian RFAs (PDF, 1.8 MB)
Independent Review on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian RFAs (DOC, 1.7 MB)

The Parties agreed to a joint government response to the recommendations made in the Independent Reviewer's report, and the Final Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs). The release of these documents marked the conclusion of the first and second five yearly reviews of Victoria's RFAs.

The Joint Australian and Victorian Government Response to the Independent Review on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) was tabled in the Australian Parliament on 16 April 2015.

A status update on the progress to implement the actions in this joint government response to the Independent Review is provided in the third five-yearly review implementation report (above).

Joint Australian and Victorian Government Response to the Independent Review on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) (PDF, 945.8 KB)
Joint Australian and Victorian Government Response to the Independent Review on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) (DOC, 298.0 KB)

Final Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) (PDF, 1.4 MB)
Final Report on Progress with Implementation of the Victorian Regional Forest Agreements (RFAs) (DOCX, 1.6 MB)