The referred proposal is for a change in the use, purpose and condition of land within the Gnangara, Pinjar and Yanchep pine plantations from commercial pine plantation managed for the purpose of timber production to a combination of new uses, purposes and conditions other than pine plantations.
The change in the use, purpose and condition of land occurs through the progressive harvesting of pine without replacement and post-harvesting land management.
The change in the use, purpose and condition of land was implemented in the early 2000s and is on-going such that all remaining mature pine in the Gnangara, Pinjar and Yanchep pine plantations will be removed by 2025/2026.
The proposal is currently being implemented and involves an on-going activity causing a change in land use and condition, based on a management approach of clearfell harvesting of mature pines and converting harvested areas to uses other than pine plantation.
The EPA has undertaken its own investigations and enquiries in relation to the referred proposal.
The proposed Forest Management Plan 2004-2013 and proposed Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 were referred to, and assessed by, the EPA under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act) (the referred plans).
The referred plans collectively set out a statement of the policies and guidelines proposed to be followed, and a summary of the operations proposed to be undertaken, within the lands to which the plans apply, including State Forest 65, within the term of those plans.
Of particular relevance to the referral is the fact that the referred plans provide for the harvesting of pine plantations and post-harvest land management operations (not involving replanting) to take place within State Forest 65.
Section 38B of the EP Act provides that a proposal cannot be referred to the EPA more than once. The EPA considers that the referred proposal is substantially the same as operations that have been included in the referred plans.
The EPA advised the referrer that it considered that it was only open to it to consider the referred proposal insofar as it relates to operations after the date the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 ceases to operate.
The referrer confirmed that the EPA may treat the referred proposal as relating to operations after the date the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 ceases to operate. The referrer specified it was taken that the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 ceases to operate on 31 December 2023.
In light of the above, the referred proposal relates to operations after the date the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 ceases to operate, which is identified in the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023 as being 31 December 2023.