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A law unto themselves? Australian regulation of forestry operations

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Baxter, TI (2014) A law unto themselves? Australian regulation of forestry operations. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis critically examines federal environmental regulation of Australian
forestry operations, particularly the effective exclusion of forestry operations in
regional forest agreement [RFA] regions from Australia’s omnibus environmental
statute, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth)
[EPBC Act]. The thesis tests the official rationale for this exclusionary policy,
termed ‘RFA exceptionalism’, and where it leaves Australia’s compliance with key
international environmental treaty obligations.
Australia’s federal and State Governments and industry have asserted that RFAs
(governed by the Regional Forest Agreement Act 2002 (Cth)) provide equivalent
environmental protection to that of the EPBC Act. Therefore, they say, forestry
operations undertaken in RFA regions do not require assessment under the EPBC
Act. This thesis tests this justification for RFA exceptionalism, a policy embedded in
both the EPBC Act and RFA Act. In particular, it assesses the Tasmanian RFA’s
legal protection against two key objects of the EPBC Act (with equivalent goals in
Australia’s National Forest Policy Statement 1992), to:
• ‘provide for the protection of the environment, especially matters of
national environmental significance’; and
• ‘assist in the co-operative implementation of Australia’s international
environmental responsibilities’.
The schemes of the EPBC Act (applicable to all other industries which significantly
impact matters of national environmental significance) and RFA Act are examined in
Chapters 2 and 3 respectively. Research questions and hypotheses are then developed
to test the Tasmanian RFA against the above two statutory aims.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: International environmental law, forestry, RFA, regulatory capture, governance
Copyright Holders: Copyright the Author
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2014 the Author

Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 03:43
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2017 01:06
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