Mid North Forests - Future Strategy

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) is working closely with stakeholders to determine a way forward for the Mid North Forests following devastating bushfires in recent years. The South Australian Government's approach is outlined in the Mid North Forests Future Strategy.

The Bangor bushfire burnt 1,776 hectares of commercial plantations at Wirrabara in January 2014. This fire followed the February 2013 Bundaleer fire, where 427 hectares of commercial plantations were lost.

In January 2016 the Government began a Request for Proposal (RFP) process. This closed on 11 March 2016 and almost 40 binding Proposals relating to potential future use of the Mid North Forest Reserves were received.

Consideration of Proposals

The inter-agency Mid North Forests Steering Committee is responsible for the Mid North Forests Future Strategy including consideration of the Proposals which will form their advice to the Minister for Forests.

Proposals are now being considered in detail to see how they address the RFP criteria:

  • how they can retain and create jobs
  • their broader impact on the community and regional economy
  • the extent that Proposals can add to the environmental, cultural, heritage and community values associated with the Mid North Forests. 

 Proposals will also be considered to see how they:

  • address fire risk
  • represent value for money
  • complement any existing or proposed uses of the land.

Respondents will be contacted if clarification is required regarding their Proposals. There may be dialogue on matters such as due diligence and the potential for negotiating beneficial outcomes from complementary Proposals. Some Proposals may not need clarification, while others may only require additional attention later in the consideration process.

Expected Timelines

It is anticipated the decisions on the future direction of the forests will occur this year. It will include the finalisation of agreements for the supported Proposals.

The State Government must be certain supported Proposals will deliver the best possible outcomes. It also needs to consider where Proposals are complementary with any existing or proposed uses of the land, and to seek added value by negotiating acceptable outcomes from overlapping Proposals where this is possible.

The majority of Proposals received are complex and it is important appropriate time is taken to consider them.

The State Government will make final decisions based on the best outcomes for the region and South Australia.

The Government will keep Respondents and the community informed during the assessment process subject to commercial-in-confidence, probity and good governance considerations.

More information

Media releases:

Contact

Mr Rob Robinson, General Manager, Forestry, PIRSA
Email: pirsa.forestry@sa.gov.au.

Page Last Reviewed: 08 Apr 2016
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