December 16, 2010
"Illegal logging is a major problem for many developing nations and directly threatens Australian timber jobs," said Joe Ludwig, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Forestry. "Under the legislation, importers will now need to meet a due diligence test to ensure the timber they are sourcing has not been illegally logged."
Reece Turner, Greenpeace forestry campaigner, reported that 10-20% of all Australian wood products are made using illegal timber, with estimates of annual imports being upwards of $840 million. Illegal logging costs international economies $60 billion every year.
Minister Ludwig said the legislation is one of many stringent efforts taken by the Australian government to combat illegal logging and is expected to save more than 3000 jobs in the country.
“The legislation will encourage investment in the Australian timber industry and give consumers and businesses greater certainty about the timber products they buy,” Minister Ludwig said. “This initiative will complement a global effort being championed by Australia, the United States and the European Union, to combat illegal logging and demand importers disclose the legal origins of their wood.”