New Stand-Down Order as EPA Beefs Up Glider Rules in NSW Forests

Timber NSW said the new ruling will have an impact on downstream supply to hardwood mills.

Mon 27 May 24


The NSW hardwood supply chain is now subject to a new stand-down order, with select contractors involved in harvesting NSW’s state forests in the state’s north and south being stood down.

It comes as the NSW Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), the NSW state government’s environmental watchdog, issued a new order today. While the new order falls short of a formal stop-work order, the EPA is “investigating potential non-compliances with the SSBCs”—issued in February—and has not ruled out taking further action.

Wood Central understands that EPA has introduced new requirements for a 25-metre logging exclusion zone applied to any tree in which a Geater Glider is sighted by the Forest Corporation of NSW—the state’s body responsible for managing the state forests—during a search and survey.

According to the NSW EPA, this new requirement “is in addition to the existing exclusion zone requirement, which protects trees where Greater Glider dens have been identified,” adding that the latest amendments “have been made to increase protections for other trees known to be used by Greater Gliders, where dens have not necessarily been identified but are likely to be present.”

“Changes have also been made to clarify requirements for how nocturnal searches and surveys must be conducted. This includes requiring search and surveys to be conducted at night, with the first transect of the search and survey commencing within 30 minutes of sunset to increase the likelihood of observing gliders leaving their dens.”

This afternoon, Wood Central spoke to Maree McCaskill, the CEO of Timber NSW, who said the new orders will impact mill supply – and will have a downstream impact on the state’s hardwood supply chain.

The new action comes after the EPA introduced a raft of requirements in February. The EPA confirmed that “the February SSBCs did not reflect the shared understanding of the EPA and FCNSW that only the first part of the search and survey had to commence within the first hour of sunset. As a result, the EPA is not issuing Stop Work Orders at this time. However, we are still investigating potential non-compliance with the SSBCs.” 

The February CIFOA requirements included:
  • A 50-metre exclusion zone around known recorded locations of greater glider dens.
  • Protection of extra greater glider trees in addition to existing hollow bearing and giant tree requirements:
    • Six trees per hectare greater than 80cm in diameter in high greater glider density areas, in addition to the eight hollow-bearing trees currently required to be protected.
    • Four trees per hectare greater than 50cm in diameter in lower-density areas, in addition to the eight hollow-bearing trees currently required to be protected.
    • The retention of additional hollows and future hollow-bearing trees in areas where greater gliders are less likely to occur.
  • Greater glider trees must prioritise hollows (especially ones with evidence of use) where they exist.
  • Undertaking of a monitoring program to ensure the ongoing effectiveness of these new rules for greater gliders.
  • A new map that shows where these different greater glider areas occur.


  • Jason Ross

    Jason Ross, publisher, is a 15-year professional in building and construction, connecting with more than 400 specifiers. A Gottstein Fellowship recipient, he is passionate about growing the market for wood-based information. Jason is Wood Central's in-house emcee and is available for corporate host and MC services.


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