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Wednesday, 19 August 2009
Page: 5489

Senator Milne asked the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, upon notice, on 24 June 2009:

(1)   Does the Government have a policy prohibiting the purchase of timber or timber products illegally logged in the country of origin.

(2)   What brands of paper are purchased by the Government.

(3)   Can the Government guarantee that timber products procured by the Government was not illegally logged.

Senator Sherry (Assistant Treasurer) —The Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has provided the following answer to the honourable senator’s question:

I am advised that the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (the department) does not have access to information regarding the policies employed by other agencies, and therefore can only provide advice in respect of its own practices.

(1)   The department procures goods and services in accordance with principles outlined in the Commonwealth Procurement Guidelines which set requirements for achieving value for money in government procurement processes.

(2)   The department primarily purchases recycled paper from Paper Australia.

(3)   While it would not be possible to provide an absolute guarantee on this matter, the department minimizes the risk of this occurring by conducting an assessment to confirm suppliers have the legal, commercial, technical and financial abilities to fulfill the requirements of the procurement. The rigor of this assessment is predicated on the risk and material value of the procurement.