Bunnings’ decision to halt sales of timber originating from Russia has been welcomed by the national peak body for forest industries, the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA).
“Even while Australia is experiencing major timber supply constraints, we must not be seen in any way to validate Russia’s deplorable invasion of Ukraine by accepting this ‘conflict timber’ into our country,” Chief Executive Officer of AFPA, Ross Hampton said today.
“Bunnings has done the right thing. We all understand that gaining timber supplies in the current building and renovation boom is very difficult. However, these issues pale completely when compared to the devastation which is being experienced by the Ukrainian people,” Ross Hampton said. “Right now Russian missiles are raining down on innocent civilians in Ukraine and millions are homeless. We must keep a global perspective.
“AFPA also supports the Australian Government’s sanctions against Russia and its decision to deliver weapons to Ukraine to help them defend themselves. If retaliatory actions from Russia make life a little more difficult in Australia in terms of the commodities which come from that part of the world, this is regrettable but unavoidable. It is right too that the Federal Parliament has invited Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelinsky to make an address today to a rare joint sitting of our parliamentarians.
“Ultimately, the answer to Australia’s exposure to international developments such as this conflict in Europe, which is disrupting international supply chains for many commodities and products, is to urgently seek far greater sovereign capability in forest products. To secure future local timber supply and avoid shortages, we desperately need one billion new production trees planted by 2030. That planting needs to start immediately.
“For years AFPA has been calling for a return to the COAG level approach which saw the Commonwealth and State Governments work together to ensure our timber supplies kept pace with ever growing demand,” Ross Hampton concluded.