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Regulation of plantation operations

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This document is part of a series of four guidance reports that cover topics related to small-scale farm forestry, private native forestry, and Indigenous managed forest lands. Learn more about the other reports and documents via this link.

In Australia, responsibility for land management belongs to the states and territories and each has a unique approach to the way in which private forestry is regulated. It is important to understand what the requirements are for your location and circumstances and ensure that you comply with them. The requirements change over time as there are many jurisdictions that have authority in terms of land and environment.

In some jurisdictions, the requirements for plantation establishment and management are clearly documented so that landholders can quickly and easily determine how to go about incorporating forestry into their enterprise. In other jurisdictions, the regulatory framework is less well articulated and sometimes not specific to forestry as a land use. There are also differences in relation to what level of government (state or local) is responsible for approving and regulating forestry activities. Australia’s State of the Forests Report (2018, Indicator 7.1a) provides a schedule of key legislation relating to the conservation and sustainable management of Australia’s forests, for each state and territory. Local government planning schemes should also be consulted for relevant local overlays. Frameworks change over time and the longevity of a forestry project means that there are likely to be multiple policy changes during the crop cycle. Appropriate authorities or expert advice should always be sought. Refer to the fact sheet to view a summary of the regulatory framework applying in each State.


Pat Groenhout, Jill Roscoe & Tuesday Phelan, Greenwood Strategy Solutions Pty Ltd.

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