Photo: Bunnings

Bunnings’s short-sighted decision to stop stocking timber sourced from Victoria’s sustainably managed native forests and produced by local timber mills, is a knee-jerk reaction to pander to extremist activist groups that will only lead to more imported timber from less sustainably managed forests overseas, Australian Forest Products Association CEO Ross Hampton said.

“This decision puts at risk tens of thousands of Australian manufacturing jobs at a time when our country can least afford to lose them, especially in regional communities,” Mr Hampton said.

Mr Hampton said he was disappointed that Bunnings had been duped by anti-forestry disinformation campaigns that misrepresented the sustainability of Victoria’s native hardwood timber industry, and warned it would have the perverse consequence of driving more deforestation in South-East Asia.

“The truth is that Victoria has one of the most regulated, sustainably managed native forestry industries in the world, harvesting the equivalent of just 4 trees out of 10,000. No old growth trees are used, and every area harvested is reseeded and regenerated by law. All Victorian native forest hardwood is harvested according to the highest standards under the world’s largest forestry certification scheme – PEFC, known in Australia as Responsible wood,” Mr Hampton said.

“Bunnings and its customers should be under no illusion that green groups will stop at Victoria – they are hellbent on ending all native forestry in Australia, which will mean even more imported timber from countries at high risk of deforestation and illegal logging, and it will be manufactured in countries with poor working conditions,” Mr Hampton concluded.