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Monday, 19 November 2012
Page: 9047

Senator LUDWIG (QueenslandMinister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister Assisting on Queensland Floods Recovery) (17:56): If you put it into perspective, Australian imports about $4.4 billion of timber and wood products, excluding furniture, annually. Australia's proportion of illegally sourced timber products has been estimated to be about nine per cent—and it is an estimation of total imports—or $400 million, as I said. If you go to the revised EM, there are two reports that are noted on page 44. One is Poyry's 2010 report, Legal Forest Products Assurance—a risk assessment framework assessing the legality of timber and wood products imported into Australia, and that is where the figures are obtained. It might provide some assistance.

As to the impact, it is about adding to the global stock of countries that are working to end the trade of illegally logged timber. In doing that, it is not only about what will happen in Australia but also about joining with the EU as it moves to operate in March 2013. It is about joining with the Lacey Act in the US. It is joining with Australian efforts to combat illegally logged timber and, ultimately, it is about bringing an end to the trade of illegally logged timber. That clearly is the long-term goal. What we expect to achieve in the short to medium term is difficult to quantify. However, it would certainly be a matter of looking five years hence—should the legislation pass and the review is undertaken—and expecting to see a significant reduction from the estimate of nine per cent that is currently there.