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Regional Forest Agreements Bill 1998

1996-97-98

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

 

Presented and read a first time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regional Forest Agreements Bill 1998

 

No.      , 1998

 

(Primary Industries and Energy)

 

 

 

A Bill for an Act relating to Regional Forest Agreements

   

   

   



Contents

1............ Short title............................................................................................

2............ Commencement..................................................................................

3............ Definitions..........................................................................................

4............ Act binds the Crown..........................................................................

5............ Certain Commonwealth Acts not to apply in relation to RFA wood or RFA forestry operations 

6............ Termination of RFA by Commonwealth...........................................

7............ Compensation for breach of RFA by Commonwealth......................

8............ Publication of information about RFAs.............................................

 



A Bill for an Act relating to Regional Forest Agreements

The Parliament of Australia enacts:

1   Short title

                   This Act may be cited as the Regional Forest Agreements Act 1998 .

2   Commencement

             (1)  Subject to subsection (2), this Act commences on a day to be fixed by Proclamation.

             (2)  If this Act does not commence under subsection (1) within the period of 6 months beginning on the day on which it receives the Royal Assent, it commences on the first day after the end of that period.

3   Definitions

                   In this Act, unless the contrary intention appears:

comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system , in relation to an RFA, has the same meaning as in the RFA.

forest products means live or dead trees, ferns or shrubs, or parts thereof.

forestry operations means any of the following done for commercial purposes:

                     (a)  the planting of trees;

                     (b)  the managing of trees before they are harvested;

                     (c)  the harvesting of forest products;

and includes any related land clearing, land preparation and regeneration (including burning) and transport operations.

plantation means an intensively managed stand of trees of either native or exotic species that is created by the regular placement of seedlings or seed.

RFA or Regional Forest Agreement means an agreement that is in force between the Commonwealth and a State in respect of a region or regions, being an agreement that satisfies all the following conditions:

                     (a)  the agreement was entered into having regard to assessments of the following matters that are relevant to the region or regions:

                              (i)  environmental values, including old growth, wilderness, endangered species, national estate values and world heritage values;

                             (ii)  indigenous heritage values;

                            (iii)  economic values of forested areas and forest industries;

                            (iv)  social values (including community needs);

                             (v)  principles of ecologically sustainable management;

                     (b)  the agreement provides for a comprehensive, adequate and representative reserve system;

                     (c)  the agreement provides for the ecologically sustainable management and use of forested areas in the region or regions;

                     (d)  the agreement is expressed to be for the purpose of providing long-term stability of forests and forest industries;

                     (e)  the agreement is expressed to be a Regional Forest Agreement.

RFA forestry operations means forestry operations that:

                     (a)  are conducted in relation to land in a region covered by an RFA (being land where those operations are not prohibited by the RFA); and

                     (b)  are conducted in relation to a forest (within the meaning of the RFA).

RFA wood means processed or unprocessed wood (including woodchips) sourced from a region covered by an RFA, but does not include wood sourced from a plantation in a State unless:

                     (a)  a code of practice for that State has been approved under regulation 4B of the Export Control (Unprocessed Wood) Regulations; and

                     (b)  that approval has not been revoked under regulation 4C of those regulations.

State includes the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory.

4   Act binds the Crown

                   This Act binds the Crown in right of the Commonwealth.

5   Certain Commonwealth Acts not to apply in relation to RFA wood or RFA forestry operations

             (1)  RFA wood is not prescribed goods for the purposes of the Export Control Act 1982 .

Note:          The Export Control Act 1982 regulates the export of “prescribed goods”.

             (2)  An export control law does not apply to RFA wood unless it expressly refers to RFA wood. For this purpose, export control law means a provision of a law of the Commonwealth (other than the Export Control Act 1982 ) that prohibits or restricts exports, or has the effect of prohibiting or restricting exports.

             (3)  The effect of RFA forestry operations must be disregarded for the purposes of the following:

                     (a)  section 30 of the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975 ;

                     (b)  approved procedures under section 6 of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 ;

                     (c)  section 11 of the Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act 1974 ;

                     (d)  section 6 of the World Heritage Properties Conservation Act 1983 .

6   Termination of RFA by Commonwealth

                   The termination of an RFA by the Commonwealth is of no effect unless it is done in accordance with the termination provisions of the RFA, being those provisions as in force:

                     (a)  at the time of commencement of this Act; or

                     (b)  at the time the RFA comes into force;

whichever is later.

7   Compensation for breach of RFA by Commonwealth

             (1)  The Commonwealth is liable to pay any compensation that the Commonwealth is required to pay to a State in accordance with the compensation provisions of an RFA, being those provisions as in force:

                     (a)  at the time of commencement of this Act; or

                     (b)  at the time the RFA comes into force;

whichever is later.

             (2)  The Commonwealth’s liability incurred under subsection (1) while an RFA is in force continues even though the RFA may subsequently have expired or been terminated.

             (3)  Compensation that the Commonwealth is liable to pay under this section:

                     (a)  may be recovered as a debt in a court of competent jurisdiction; and

                     (b)  is payable out of money appropriated by the Parliament.

8   Publication of information about RFAs

             (1)  As soon as practicable after an RFA is entered into, the Minister must publish a notice in the Gazette :

                     (a)  stating that the RFA has been entered into; and

                     (b)  giving details of the region and the date when the RFA comes into force or came into force.

             (2)  As soon as practicable after an RFA ceases to be in force, the Minister must publish a notice in the Gazette :

                     (a)  stating that the RFA has ceased to be in force; and

                     (b)  giving details of the region and the date when the RFA ceased to be in force.