Private Timber Reserves

A private timber reserve is a parcel of private land or forest of at least five hectares in area set aside to grow or harvest forests.

What is a Private Timber Reserve

In Tasmania private timber reserves (PTRs) are an integral part of the State's commitment to encouraging and fostering the sustainable management of private forests. Forestry, as a major statewide industry, is covered by a statewide planning system in the form of the Forest Practices Act 1985 and Forest Practices Code.

A private timber reserve may be an area of:

  • native forest;
  • a tree plantation;
  • an area of land intended to be planted in the near future
Agroforestry plantings

Why would I want my land declared as a private timber reserve?

A private landowner needs to secure their right to use the land for forestry purposes in the long term.

A private timber reserve can benefit a landowner because:

  • Secures the right to use the land to establish trees, grow trees or harvest timber in the long term;
  • Local government approval is not required to establish trees, grow trees or harvest timber, making the planning process simpler;
  • Other compatible activities can be undertaken on a PTR; and
  • Land is eligible for Primary Production Land classification and no land tax is payable.

Can I use the land for anything other than a private timber reserve?

Developments on the land other than ‘forest operations,’ are subject to regulation by local government. If the owner wishes to undertake any other developments on the land they may require local government approval.

How do I get a PTR?

Private Forests Tasmania processes Private Timber Reserve applications from landowners under a delegation from the Forest Practices Authority.

The application form has two parts:

  • Part A is completed by the applicant i.e.. the landowner; and
  • Part B is completed by a forest practices officer (FPO).
  • An inspection of the proposed PTR may be required to ensure the land is suitable and determine the boundaries.
  • The completed application and fee is submitted to Private Forests Tasmania (PFT) for processing.
  • It takes several months to complete the process and register the PTR on the title.

Landowners interested in applying for a Private Timber Reserve over part or all of their property should contact Private Forests Tasmania for advice and assistance.

Please phone 1300 661 009 if you have any queries or email admin@pft.tas.gov.au.

How much does a private timber reserve application cost?

As of 1 July 2023, the fee to apply for a private timber reserve is $623.00 and must accompany the application.

There is no fee for revoking a private timber reserve.
Can I remove a PTR?

  • The decision to remove a PTR rests with the landowner &/or the Forest Practices Authority.
  • Sometimes removal may not be in the landowner’s best interests.

It may be wise to seek independent advice before making any commitment to removing the PTR.

TESTIMONIALS

Malcolm Larner - Farm Forester

“If you have trees and you are considering harvesting or doing any forest activity, it is a lot easier if you have a PTR working within the Forest Practices Code. There is less red tape and one less thing to do, local government approval is not required every time, making the planning process simpler and cheaper”.

Malcolm Larner 1939 regrowth felled in 2005 Semaphore Farm 2023 cut

Rob Downie - Farm Forester

“Private Timber Reserves have helped me through the regulatory framework for my forest operations, by streamlining the planning process through council and practically guarantees harvest security by declaring the forest for production, which is so important for a long-term investment such as forestry.”

Rob Downie 3cut

Mark Cornelius - Farm Forester

“Forestry is a long-term activity, and my Private Timber Reserves give me greater security to be able to conduct forest operations in the future, particularly if council zoning changes. The PTRs also help to reduce costs as planning is simplified and development applications are not required. Overall, PTRs have helped me to efficiently manage my properties”.

Mark Cornelius Profile pic consented use PTR testimonial material 2023 cut2

Sam Lake - landowner

“The Private Timber Reserves on my properties have helped me with council planning issues, the PTR declares the land to be for primary production and therefore land tax is no longer payable. This has allowed me to own, invest and improve my forests. The PTRs have been an incentive to do the right thing, that does not cost a fortune and with reduced costs”.

Sam Lake PTR testimonial image cut

PTR application forms - Part A

To be completed by the person who owns the land (the registered title holder).

Also required are:

  • a current copy of the title with title diagram
  • a location map showing the proposed private timber reserve
  • the application fee

It takes several months to complete the application process and to register the private timber reserve on the titles.

Objection forms

Objections to private timber reserves can be lodged by a 'prescribed person' within 28 days of advertisement. Objections must be lodged with Private Forests Tasmania on the relevant forms and within the period specified in the advertisement.

Grounds on which an objection may be lodged include:

  1. the application has not been made in good faith and honesty;
  2. the land is not suitable for use for establishing forests, or growing or harvesting timber in accordance with the Code;
  3. a person who has a legal or equitable interest in the land, or in the timber on the land, would be disadvantaged if the application was granted;
  4. by virtue of the operation of any Act, the owner of the land is prohibited from establishing forests, or growing or harvesting timber on the land; or
  5. persons as an owner of the land that adjoins, or is within 100 metres of, the boundary of the proposed private timber reserve would be directly and materially disadvantaged if the application was granted.

Application to revoke PTR

The decision to revoke a private timber reserve rests purely with the registered landowner and/or the Forest Practices Authority. Before making the decision to revoke your PTR, you should seek independent advice, and consider the benefits and alternatives by reading Alternatives to revoking my Private Timber Reserve.

Questions you may want to ask before you apply for Revocation of a PTR:

Question: Am I fully aware of the consequences of revoking, or retaining, my land as a PTR?

Answer: If ‘No’ you should obtain an objective opinion about the costs & benefits. PFT would be happy to provide you with free information.

Question: Do I know my intended land use now and for the future?

Answer:

1. I am committed to converting all or part of the area to non-forest

Apply for revocation of all or part of the PTR.

2. I wish to continue to use the land for forestry

Retain the PTR.

3. I am uncertain of the land use

Retain the PTR and contact PFT Helpline 1300 661 009 for information.

A revocation can be lodged on all or part of the registered private timber reserve. There is no fee for revoking a private timber reserve.