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Why is Australia still importing illegally-logged timber?

By Michael Cebon | February 24, 2009

Yesterday’s edition of Melbourne’s The Age newspaper had a worrying article about the influence of extreme pro-free-trade bureaucrats in derailing new laws aimed at restricting illegal timber imports into Australia.

Apparently the federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have been trying to undermine the Rudd Government’s election promises to require “disclosure at point-of-sale of species, country of origin and any certification” and “identifying illegally-logged timber and restrict its import into Australia”.

The article also quotes Alan Oxley, who runs Melbourne-based consultancy ITS Global, and is known far and wide for his work organising conferences to promote the denial of climate change, lobbying on behalf of Malaysian logging giant Rimbunan Hijau (implicated in widespead illegal logging & human rights abuses in PNG) and for setting up a business lobby group for the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement. (Follow the above links to pages from Sourcewatch, and online watchdog which has some good background on Oxley & his company.)

If you’re reading this and would like to do something, please consider emailing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd or emailing or phoning – (02) 6277 7500 – Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and demanding that they commit to fulfilling their election promise to restrict imports of illegally logged timber into Australia.

Topics: Australian Trade Policy, Events & Actions, Globalisation & the Environment | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Why is Australia still importing illegally-logged timber?”

  1. John Says:
    June 30th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Capitalism really sucks