The Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) welcomes the announcement by the Federal Government of the first infringement notice issued in Australia under the Illegal Logging Act, Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Mr Ross Hampton said today.

The Queensland-based importer was fined under Australia’s Illegal logging Prohibition Act 2012 for failing to provide information relating to its sourcing of timber, receiving an infringement notice for $12,600.

“The Federal Government’s strong stance on stopping the importation of illegally logged timber into Australia will hopefully act as a deterrent to other companies considering similar activities. Illegal logging activities in overseas countries not only contribute to global deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, they directly undermine the competitiveness of legitimate and sustainably sourced timber and paper products in Australia,” Mr Hampton said.

“As detailed in the Government’s statutory review, Australian processors are generally engaged in short supply chains with known forestry managers, and almost all operations are PEFC or FSC certified. Our timber processors operate within a stringent legal and compliance framework for sustainable forest management in Australia.”

“This prosecution further highlights the need for action on the Coalition’s commitment in the National Forest Industries Plan to plant one billion new production trees over the next decade. 

“Planting more production trees in Australia, under our strict regulations will remove any incentives for companies to import illegally logged wood. Consumer demand for renewable timber has never been higher and the multitude of economic and environmental benefits of planting new trees has never been greater,” Mr Hampton concluded.

ENDS