If you are a farm owner you may own forest land or have interests in forestry. If so, you need to make some decisions as a result of the Climate Change Response Act 2002.
Any party wanting to take advantage of an allocation of carbon credits needs to apply for them – there is no automatic allocation. In particular if the forest was planted prior to 1990 and is between 1 and 50 hectares in size you need to be mindful to ensure you either apply for an exemption or an allocation to ensure you don’t miss out on carbon credits only to be caught by the future liabilities. The deadlines are now very tight.
The Act divides forests into two main categories:
1. Pre-1990 forests
These are forests planted in non-native species before 1 January 1990.
2. Post-1989 Forests
These are forests planted after 31 December 1989 (on land not previously afforested) in native or non-native species.
If you have a pre-1990 forest you need to be aware of some critical dates.
1. 30 September 2011 (exemption date).
2. 30 November 2011 (allocation date).
30 September 2011 – Exemption Date
If you have between 1 and 50 hectares of forestry and you do not want to be part of the Emission Trading Scheme you must apply for an exemption before 30 September 2011.
30 November 2011 – Allocation Date
If you have more than one hectare of forestry and you want to receive a free allotment of units (currently trading at around $16.00 per unit) you must apply for an allocation before 30 November 2011.
These dates are rapidly approaching. If you need advice about the best course of action regarding your forestry interests, please contact us as soon as possible.