The East Gippsland Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) has been extended until 27 March 2018, allowing existing protections to continue while the RFA five-yearly reviews are underway.
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, said that it was important that the environmental, social and economic benefits of the current RFA continue until the five-yearly review of implementation can be completed.
"RFAs strike a balance between the competing economic, environmental and social uses and values of Australia' s public native forests," Senator Ruston said.
"They provide for resource security, creating a stable investment environment which contributes to industry certainty, provide for ecologically sustainable forest management and have established a comprehensive, adequate and representative (CAR) reserve system based on nationally agreed criteria.
"The forestry industry is important to the East Gippsland region and Australian economy as a whole–we're committed to providing the right regulatory balance to allow the industry to thrive for generations to come."
Victorian Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, Lily D'Ambrosio, said the Andrews Labor Government is delivering sustainable economic growth for all Victorian communities.
"Together with the Commonwealth, the Victorian Government has agreed to extend the Regional Forest Agreement in East Gippsland for an additional 13 months, through to the March 2018," Ms D'Ambrosio said.
"This short term extension brings the East Gippsland RFA's expiry into line with the expiry of the Central Highlands RFA."
The East Gippsland RFA amendment for the extension was signed by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, and the acting Premier of Victoria, the Hon. James Merlino MP.
For more information and a copy of the East Gippsland RFA, see: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/forestry/policies/rfa/regions/vic-eastgippsland.