IMPORTATION OF ILLEGAL TIMBER AND WOOD PRODUCTS

Senator BARTLETT (Queensland) (10.17 a.m.)—I move:

That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) alarming rates of deforestation are occurring in south east Asia and the Pacific region through illegal and unsustainable logging practices,
(ii) unsustainable management of natural resources will have long-term negative economic, environmental and social consequences for countries in which illegal logging is occurring,
(iii) illegal logging and associated trade in timber products contributes to corruption, money laundering, organised crime and human rights abuses, and threatens the viability of responsible companies that want to invest in sustainable forest practices,
(iv) there is a suspected presence of illegal timber from Papua New Guinea and Indonesia in Australia, and
(v) the Australian Government committed to addressing the problem at the 2004 election and has since reaffirmed this commitment; and
(b) calls on the Government to:
(i) develop a ‘test of legality’ for forest products to be imported into Australia and facilitate its voluntary application by importers, with the aim of stopping the importation of illegal timber into Australia; and, in the advent that voluntary compliance has not led to the halting of the importation of illegal timber within 3 to 5 years, agree to implement further mechanisms to achieve this end, and
(ii) work within Australia and other countries in the Asia-Pacific region to facilitate the wide-spread adoption of certified and sustainable forest management practices that would stand the scrutiny of internationally recognised forest certification schemes and the International Organization for Standardization, recognised by the United Nations.

Question agreed to.

Please like & share: