A new era for farm forestry

The NSW Government is introducing new Farm Forestry Codes of Practice that will ensure long-term sustainability for the industry and provide robust environmental protections across the NSW private forestry estate.

The new Codes, which come into effect on Monday, 2 May 2022, are the result of a rigorous review of Farm Forestry in NSW as well as advice from the Natural Resource Commission.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW Paul Toole said farmers and landowners supply around 30 per cent of NSW’s high quality saw logs.

“Farm Forestry is a pivotal part of our regional economies, generating $482 million annually and supporting 835 direct and indirect jobs on the North Coast alone,” Mr Toole said.

“Hardwood timber logs from private estates play a critical part in our construction, transport, manufacturing and farming sectors and are visible all around us every day.

“Timber is used in everything, from housing and commercial construction products including timber flooring, decking and frames to power poles, bridges and fence posts.

“These new codes will provide the critical materials we will need to rebuild our communities impacted by the recent floods, keep up with the construction boom and keep firing our economy.”

Minister for Agriculture Dugald Saunders said the new Farm Forestry Codes are a key commitment made to landholders and the community under the NSW Forestry Industry Roadmap.

“Farm forestry is the ultimate renewable industry and an Australian grown product that we should all be very proud of,” Mr Saunders said.

“These new Codes provide a consistent and sustainable approach to how farmers manage their farms and forests, are clear and easier to use, and meet the principles of ecologically sustainable forest management.”

Mr Saunders also said the new codes will play an important role in addressing the critical timber shortage in NSW and Australia currently.

“These new Codes will put farmers in NSW in better stead to produce timber to be sold domestically, which not only directly addresses these timber shortages but also increases income streams for farmers after a tough few years.”

The new Farm Forestry Codes have been informed by specialist experts in Forest Science and Ecology, and reviewed by the NSW Natural Resources Commission which found that the new Codes of Practice are a substantive improvement on the existing PNF Codes.

New changes for landowners under the codes include:

  • New harvest and operating standards that provide greater clarity and are easier for landholders to apply – now including pest, weed and fire management;
  • Updated planning and reporting with a clear role for Local Land Services to engage with farmers, and options for small scale harvesting; and
  • Environmental protections that are clearer for landholders while ensuring long-term environmental and productive sustainability in farm forests.