About us

The Conservation Regulator was established in 2019 to oversee regulatory functions relating to timber harvesting, public land use, biodiversity and fire prevention.

Victoria’s inaugural Chief Conservation Regulator, Kate Gavens, was appointed in early 2019, and is responsible for leading the Conservation Regulator to fulfil its purpose and functions.

Our mission and purpose

At the Conservation Regulator, our mission is:

To be an effective, trusted, best practice regulator.

Our role is to contribute to the delivery of DELWP’s regulatory outcomes including:

  • Equitable and safe access to public land and use of natural resources.
  • Protected natural and heritage values.
  • Sustainable communities – social, economic and environmental.

The Conservation Regulator supports DELWP to lift regulatory performance, works with others in the department and supports the development of systems and capabilities to be an effective and transparent regulator for the Victorian community.

To achieve this, the Conservation Regulator focuses on:

  • Collaborating and engaging with the community and with our regulatory partners.
  • Regulating in a way that is risk-based and intelligence-led.
  • Executing carefully planned and effective regulatory action through applying our regulatory framework, Figure 1.

Figure 1 Overview of our regulatory framework

  • Overview of our regulatory framework

Our regulatory priorities

In September of 2019, we released our Regulatory Priorities 2019–2020, which outlined our statewide priorities and recognised the unique context and compliance risks facing our regions.

The four state-wide compliance priorities for 2019– 2020 were:

  • Illegal campfires
  • Illegal take of firewood
  • Illegal vehicle use on public land
  • Unauthorised timber harvesting in native forests.

Our efforts in our first twelve months of operations have focused on addressing these key priorities, to drive down non-compliance through a combination of education, and compliance and enforcement activities.

Independent review into timber harvesting regulation

In September 2018, the Secretary of DELWP commissioned the Independent Review into Timber Harvesting Regulation 2018 (Review), at the request of the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change, the Hon Lily D’Ambrosio.

The review recommendations went beyond DELWP’s role in timber harvesting regulation to encompass all regulation undertaken by DELWP.

DELWP accepted all recommendations in full and made further commitments in response to the review. Significant progress has been made towards the implementation of the commitments, and progress towards those for which the Conservation Regulator is responsible are summarised in Appendix A.