EPA Code audits - 02/03 and 03/04

02/03 EPA Audit exposes rainforest mismanagement

In 2002, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) first began the process of finding independent environmental auditors to audit compliance to the Code of Forest Practices on public land in Victoria. This included auditing compliance to rainforest buffers outlined in Section 2.3.7 of the Code. This independent third party auditing of the Code had never occurred before. See State Government Press Release.

Conservationists from VRN have been actively engaged in this audit process.

In January 2004, the EPA released an audit report on the DSE compliance of logging conduct in the 2002/2003 logging season. The EPA report shows only 56% rainforest compliance to rainforest buffers. Rainforest compliance was one of the lowest scores for all Code elements audited. See Herald Sun 16 Jan.

Clearfell logging near cool temperate rainforest in the Central Highlands was found to have the worst levels of compliance to the Code. (Note: the EPA measured the substandard buffers used from the Forest Management Plans.)

Copies of the report and background information are available at the EPA website.

The State Government acknowledged DSE needs to lift its game with respect to rainforest identification. See State Government Press Release (note: red highlights).

EPA Code audits 2003/04

In late January 2004, conservationists from VRN met with EPA officials to discuss the fact that substandard buffers from the Forest Management Plans were being audited, not the actual buffers listed in the Code.

In response, the EPA agreed to audit the process that determines rainforest buffers in Forest Management Plans. The rainforest buffers in the Central Highland Forest Management Plan were the focus of the 2003/2004 audit.

See Case Studies

Otways - Logging at Ciancio Creek: National RSOS found to be illegal

East Gippsland - Logging at Dingo creek: National RSOS breaches Code on many levels.