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Parliamentary Questions

Question On Notice No. 501 asked in the Legislative Council on 7 November 2017 by Hon Diane Evers

Question Directed to the: Minister for Regional Development representing the Minister for Forestry
Minister responding: Hon D.J. Kelly
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

I refer to question without notice No. 762, asked on 1 November 2017, and the Department of Parks and Wildlife's (DPaW) three-year indicative harvest plan for 2015-2017, dated July 2014 and the Forest Products Commission's (FPC) 2017 indicative harvest plan, dated October 2016, and I ask:

(a) does the Minister acknowledge that in the FPC plan, the western boundary of the indicated harvest area for Barrabup Forest adjoins Vasse Highway Forest whereas in DPaW earlier plan, the western boundary of the indicated harvest area is significantly further inland;
(b) if no to (a), why not;
(c) since community consultation was done on DPaW's plan but not on the FPC plan, does the Minister agree that the boundary should not be changed without further community consultation;
(d) was the boundary changed because better quality timber was identified closer to the highway and, if yes, how much additional timber, by volume or weight, does the FPC hope to harvest; and
(e) given Vasse Highway is the main tourist gateway for Nannup and forest-based tourism is a key attraction, does the Minister agree forest adjoining the highway should not be logged?
Answered on 13 March 2018

(a) The FPC’s 2017 indicative harvest plan in its reference to Barrabup is different to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA - formerly DPaW) three-year indicative harvest plan for 2015-17, but identical to the DBCA’s updated harvest plans for the periods 2016-18 and 2017-2019.

(b) Not applicable

(c) No. The boundary change was captured in both the DBCA’s 2016 – 2018 three-year harvest plan and the subsequent DBCA 2017 – 2019 three-year harvest plan. Both these plans were subject to consultation. The FPC 2017 harvest plan is based on the updated DBCA plans.

All the DBCA and the FPC harvest plans are the subject of public consultation. The public consultation period for the DBCA 2017 – 2019 three year harvest plan started early October 2016 and continued until the next three year harvest plan was released in 2017. The FPC one year harvest plan for 2017 occurred from the 20 December 2016 to 31 January 2017.

(d) No, the boundary change was not related to timber quality. It was related to improving harvest efficiencies. There were originally two Barrabup coupes identified for harvest in different years within the current Forest Management Plan 2014-23. The western area was originally scheduled for harvest in 2018 in the DBCA 2015 – 2017 three-year harvest plan. The Eastern area was due for harvest in 2017. The boundary change occurred when these two separate coupes were combined in the 2017 year of the DBCA 2016 – 2018 harvest plan.

(e) Yes.