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TAS Country : February 2nd 2012
Friday, February 3, 2012 Tasmanian Country 9 News Forests can be a legal trap for landowners ROGER HANSON GET ADVICE: A Forest Practices officer can provide important advice to landowners before they start felling. TASMANIAN landowners can easily be caught out by forest legislation. Landowners are finding out the hard way that it's not so easy to legally clear or harvest forest on their properties. Most forest operations require a forest practices plan -- which can be complex to prepare. The best way for landowners to make sure clearing or harvesting conforms to legislation is to engage a consulting Forest Practices officer. Officers are trained and authorised by the Forest Practices Authority to prepare forest practices plans in ac- cordance with the legislation; as well as provide advice when a forest practices plan is required. Forest Practices Authority's Forest Practices Advisor Jo Field said the forest practices system was complex. ''Landowners can find it hard to make sure they are not in breach of the legislation,'' Ms Field said. ''We've had quite a few cases of landholders and contractors breaching the forest prac- tices system recently because of a lack of understanding of the rules. ''We'd like to get the message out that the best way to avoid this is to get an expert to look at your property and provide advice and, if required, pre- pare your forest practices plan.'' Ms Field urges landowners to con- tact a Forest Practices officer before starting to clear native vegetation. The types of breaches are quite varied -- for example, clearing forest on steep slopes. One landowner cleared less than one hectare but part of the cleared area included a Class 4 streamside reserve. This is in breach of the Act, which protects streamside reserves. Ms Field said a contractor harvested trees for a farmer and thought he did not need a forest-practices plan. ''He believed he was harvesting less than 100 tonnes of logs. He did not understand that the 100-tonne exemp- tion applies to the tonnage of the trees, not the logs,'' Ms Field said. He was also not aware the trees were in an area of habitat for the threatened grey goshawk. The clearing of trees on vulnerable land without a forest practices plan is an offence under the Forest Practices Act 1985. ''Contacting a Forest Practices offi- cer before clearing or harvesting forest can save landowners considerable costs,'' Ms Field said. Landowners can contact a consulting officer through the Forest Practices Authority's website, www.fpa.tas.gov.au. *The issuer of the Cash Management Account/Premium Cash Management Account is Rabobank Australia Limited ABN 50 001 621 129 AFSL 234 700. Consider your personal objectives, nancial situation and needs as well as the Terms and Conditions relating to this product (available by calling 1300 30 30 33 or visiting a Rabobank branch) before making any nancial decisions. RAB0560 Our new Cash Management Account gives you more. A a o an Cash Management Account is a e i e high interest savings account with convenient every ay access. hen you invest 20,000 or more into our new Cash Management Account, you get a market leading interest rate of up to 4.75 pa*. But our bene ts don't stop there. • ou have easy access to your money through internet banking, ATMs and a isa debit card and there's also an optional che ue book for our Premium Cash Management Account. • t's ideal for personal or business accounts as well as self managed super funds. • our money is invested back into Australian agriculture. Rabobank. One focus. Contact your oca ura Manager to ay on 1300 30 30 33 or visit rabobank.com.au
January 26th 2012
February 9th 2012