MONITORING

Bunbury Fibre Plantations (BFP) undertakes monitoring for various financial, environmental, social , heritage and plantation based activities to measure performance and legislative compliance of our business. Monitoring results are summarised below.

BFP closely monitors its business activities via a number of different methods. The following information summarises monitoring activities by subject matter.

FINANCIAL MONITORING

BFP manages its financial accounts via a System Application Product (SAP) financial accounting software program. SAP provides functional accounting and reporting information to the company which is scrutinised by Accounts and Operational Managers on a monthly basis and external financial auditors annually. Productivity and efficiency is monitored through the reconciliation of predicted vs actual costs against plantation performance using the SAP package. Bunbury Fibre Plantations Pty Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui Bussan Woodchip Oceania Pty Ltd which is a subsidiary of the parent company, Mitsui & Co Limited. BFP financial records are deemed confidential and not provided for public scrutiny however, Mitsui annual reports are available and can be accessed via the link provided. http://www.mitsui.com/jp/en/ir/annual/

PLANTATION YIELDS

Generally, plantation yields are measured via Stratification and Growth Modelling. Stratification occurs frequently across the estate to determine growth and health of plantation trees. Yield estimates (be they modelled from Stratification information or calculated from visually field inspections) are compared to actual harvest yields to determine accuracy levels.

STRATIFY- definition: to arrange in strata, construct in layers.

PURPOSE OF PLANTATION STRATIFICATION

  1. To identify areas of different quality within a plantation (stands).
  2. To calculate current and predict future timber volume.
  3. To assist with specific ground operations (eg - pest control, weed control, drought effect, fertiliser regimes, drainage).
  4. To identify any changes to the original contract planting boundaries.
  5. To identify failed areas.

Stratification generally occurs at two different age classes intervals (age 4 - 5 years and age 8 years). This information is used for planning purposes and is reviewed against actual harvest volumes as measured across the Bunbury Fibre weighbridge at the processing plant in the Port of Bunbury.

In addition to Stratification, Bunbury Fibre undertakes regular surveillance of its plantation estate for pests, disease and environmental factors. The monitoring program involves varying levels of surveillance, dependant on age class.

Age class 0 - 8 months of age - weekly inspections.

Age class 8 months to 3 years of age - monthly inspections.

Age class 3 years and greater - annual inspections.

A sample of an Annual Inspection Record sheet results is available via the link. Other plantation inspection sheets are available upon request.

The information gathered from stratification and annual inspections is deemed commercial in confidence and as such is not provided on this website.

Hardwood Operational Database (HOD)

Actual harvest yields are compared to Stratification results (actual vs modelled) using HOD information. All harvested timber is captured by work order numbers to a specific plantation. Order number information is entered at the weighbridge at the Bunbury Fibre processing facility in the Port of Bunbury. The information is captured using Mettler Toledo software at the weighbridge which is linked to HOD. The HOD interface allows interrogation on a number of levels.

HOD information is deemed confidential and is not provided to the general public.

FLORA AND FAUNA REGENERATION AND CONDITION DATA

Bunbury Fibre Plantations plantation Forest Management Unit (FMU) comprises of approximately 13,000 hectares of estate in the South West of Western Australia established on previously cleared farmland in units varying in size from 16.0 hectares to over 900 hectares.

As a consequence, land upon which our plantations are established have low habitat value and while remaining islands of native remnants scattered within the plantation confines may offer some refuse areas for native plants and animals, they have been assessed against the HCV's framework and are deemed not to fall under the HCV categories. These areas are conserved and managed through planning processes and are excluded from general plantation access activities.

In order to meet Soil Association - Woodmark, Forest Management certification checklist requirements for Forest Stewardship Council® certification as defined in the Soil Association - Woodmark checklist (criterion 6.2), BFP has entered into agreements with particular landowners for forested areas outside of it plantation estate and manage these areas in accordance with HCV objectives and Best Practice.

Leased native vegetation areas have been assessed against the Guidelines for the identification of HCVF from the Proforest High Conservation Value Toolkit (Proforest, 2003) and FSC® Australia High Conservation Values (HCV's) evaluation framework. The Framework is available via the link - Australia HCV Framework.

The objectives of each assessment program were;

  • To identify High Conservation Values (HCV) that occur within or are adjacent to the FMU.
  • To establish Management Plans for identified HCV.
  • To include areas of HCV into the BFP geographic information system (GIS) dataset.

Information sources used as part of the assessment phase were;

Nature Map - http://naturemap.dec.wa.gov.au/

Protected Matters information - http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/pmst/index.html

Florabase - https://florabase.dpaw.wa.gov.au/

Species Profile and Threats Database (SPRAT) - http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/sprat/public/sprat.pl

Aboriginal Heritage - http://maps.dia.wa.gov.au/AHIS2/default.aspx

From the assessments, BFP have identified three HCV categories found over the five managed vegetation areas. These being;

HCV Category 1 - Forest areas containing globally, regionally or nationally significant concentrations of biodiversity values (e.g. endemism, endangered species, refuge).

HCV Category 3 - Forest areas that are in or contain rare, threatened or endangered ecosystems.

HCV Category 4 - Forest areas that provide basic services of nature in critical situations (this includes protection of watersheds, protection against erosion and destructive fire).

Bunbury Fibre Plantations - Rationale for monitoring HCV attributes.

The management of the five HCV areas is based on the precautionary approach and as such, monitoring regimes have been designed appropriate to maintaining or improving each attribute.

For the protection of declared rare, endangered or threatened (RTE), Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) as the lead authority in RTE management, have adopted an approach of identify, manage to conserve and monitor. This criterion has been included in the Management Plan for HCV 1 and 3 sites.

HCV 4 is aligned with watershed and catchment protection associated with the Collie River Water Resource Recovery Catchment as designated by the Department of Water (DoW). A Salinity Situation Statement for the catchment has been prepared by the Water and Rivers Commission (now DoW). The Statement outlines the importance of retaining remnant native vegetation in the area in order to achieve reductions in salinity levels across the Collie River. DoW adopts principles to maintain or enhance native vegetation in order to protect water quality. This is achieved by protecting native vegetation from human intervention and introduced species and disease. The enhancement of native vegetation qualities through burning is also considered a positive step in vegetation management. Monitoring of sites for their protection is therefore considered essential to maintain the HCV attributes.

Given that potential damaging agents have been identified for each property, it is clear that the potential risk for damage is low under the current management regime. As such, general monitoring can be incorporated with plantation inspections (monthly basis) with a more comprehensive survey undertaken on an annual basis.

The likelihood of management measures changing as a result of an attribute change is also considered unlikely. Both, RTE and Watershed protection are gazetted activities and therefore will remain until there is impetus at a government level to change.

A HCV Management Plan that encompasses both HCV 3 and 4 conservation values is able to be downloaded via the link. Monitoring inspection sheets results can be viewed via the following link - Monitoring Inspection Sheet.

PLANTATION FOREST CONDITION MONITORING AND REVIEW

Plantation forest condition is monitored along with daily visits to particular plantations where there are operations occurring, seedling survival surveys, disease and insect damage inspections and annual inspections. Monitoring information gathered with these inspections is used in the development of annual budgets, planning for management operations, gathering health information, determining standing stocking and projecting yield expectations. Further information on Planation Monitoring is available via the link - BFP Monitoring Plan.

Survival Counts

Survival Counts are carried out in the summer following establishment. Results are used to review establishment survival and growth performance. The 2014 survival count information is available via the following link - Survival Count Information 2015.

Disease and Pest Damage Surveys

Eucalypt plantations are susceptible to damage from a range of insects, fungi and animals. The objective of pest management is to utilise integrated systems (Integrated Pest Management) where possible, to prevent damage to plantations. This includes the deployment of an effective surveillance system to establish the presence of pests and determine population dynamics in order to predict damaging outbreaks. Beneficial organisms that act as natural control agents are also monitored to determine if they are keeping pest numbers to levels where chemical intervention becomes unnecessary. Pesticide application Threshold information is offered via the link - Thresholds. Disease and Pest Damage surveys are also carried out as part of the Industry Pest Management Group (IPMG) research project into pest and disease distribution. As the IPMG is a membership of plantation companies and the information gathered is deemed to Intellectual Property, monitoring information is unable to be provided.

Annual Inspections

Annual Inspections, as the name suggests, are carried out at annual intervals to monitor the plantations performance, weed coverage, insect numbers, roading networks, access, fire control aspects, environmental issues and stakeholder relations. An example of a completed annual inspection is available via the link - Annual Inspection Record. Other specific property information is available upon request.

Harvest Monitoring

Harvest monitoring is conducted by Bunbury Fibre Harvest Coordinators during and at the conclusion of harvest. The Harvest Coordinator will check on aspects of:

  • Utilisation of product
  • Compliance to the conditions of the Timber Harvest Plan (THP) and Chain of Responsibility legislation
  • Road and track maintenance requirements
  • Fire preparedness when applicable
  • Delivery targets
  • Environmental compliance with respect to water run-off, erosion, dust and noise.

An example of a completed harvest inspection is available via the link - Harvest Inspection Report.

ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL IMPACTS OF OPERATIONS MONITORING AND CONSULTATION

BFP takes stakeholder concerns seriously and endeavours to provide reasonable and acceptable outcomes against issues of concern in the management of its plantation estate. The company regularly consults with neighbours and with other interested parties. The company continues to be actively involved with community and industry groups that are working toward better plantation management. A summary of stakeholder consultation is available via the link - Stakeholder Consultation.

SCIENCE

BFP recognises the importance of being aware of new developments in all areas of plantation silviculture and environmental management. It is an active member of the Forest Industries Federation of Western Australia (FIFWA), Western Australian Industry Pest Management Group (IPMG) and Forest and Wood Products Association (FWPA). It is also in regular contact with Forest Products Commission (FPC) and the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) specialists.

BFP was also a major contributor to the CRC for Forestry being involved in research programmes. Since its demise, BFP has been actively involved in industry collaborative projects. BFP contributes to ongoing research projects via the FWPA levy system. When outside specialist skills are required, consultants are engaged via project plan. Most research has Intellectual information that is deemed confidential and therefore cannot be provided at this site.

WATER MONITORING

Water quality and availability has become a major national issue and there is community expectation that land managers are aware of the impacts their activities are having on these values.

BFP in conjunction with Department of Water has been actively monitoring particular sites where there are environmental concerns associated with surface water management. Monitoring sites can be located and monitoring information requested using the link - http://wir.water.wa.gov.au/SitePages/SiteExplorer.aspx.

Particular sites of interest are DoW sites 6091222 and 6091223 which are located off Fouracres Road in the Scott River. These sites are downstream from BFP plantations and monitoring information is used to review performance in nutrient runoff and water turbidity which has the potential to flow into the Hardy Inlet.

This is a useful tool and can be accessed by members of the public seeking information about water quality outflows from particular plantations. Interested parties seeking specific monitoring site data can contact BFP for relevant Monitoring Site numbers.

BFP has also been a willing participant in the water monitoring program for the Hardy Inlet and has provided information which is freely available via the link Hardy Inlet Improvement Plan - Stage 1 The Scott River Catchment - http://www.water.wa.gov.au/PublicationStore/first/103163.pdf.