The Australian Government wants input on illegal logging law reforms.

Sustainability is one of the key selling notes for the Australian timber industry, with our reputation for demanding environmentally responsible forestry practices both here and for our imported product. Importation of illegally logged material puts this reputation at risk and has been used as a strawman argument by some anti-timber voices to attack the industry as a whole.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment is currently reviewing the Illegal Logging Prohibition regulation 2012. Industry members and other interested parties are invited to provide feedback on the Regulation and proposed reforms to help the department meet its goal of ensuring the laws “remain effective in protecting the Australian market from illegally logged timber and achieve their purpose of promoting trade in sustainable, legally harvested timber”.

The Department hopes that expert feedback will help it to deliver laws that are fit for purpose. Specific input is requested on topics including:

  • Receiving information before goods arrive at the border;
  • Ensuring officials are empowered to deal with compliance risks at the border;
  • Reducing the need to repeat due diligence;
  • Simplifying requirements for low-risk products, among other matters

The Illegal Logging Sunsetting Review website contains links to the full consultation paper and a shorter overview paper (as well as documentation for the existing legislation) and then allows feedback through either a survey or by uploading a written submission. For people with specific concerns, there are contacts for the Review Team to conduct more in-depth discussions.

In addition to constructing effective and workable legislation, wide involvement with the reforms reinforces the industry’s focus on timber as a clean, renewable resource that minimises the environmental impacts of the entire construction industry.

The feedback period closes 30 September, with review recommendations to be released by the end of this year for Government consideration by early 2022.

For full details and to provide feedback, click here.