House debates

Monday, 20 August 2012


Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2011; Consideration in Detail

4:16 pm

Photo of Sid SidebottomSid Sidebottom (Braddon, Australian Labor Party, Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

I thank all members for their contributions. In short, for all the verbosity from the other side, and the feigned interest in doing what is right by our international obligations and whatever else, all those opposite are doing is delaying this legislation in order to allow further illegal logging throughout the world.

We join with others in seeking to introduce legislation to prohibit illegal logging and the importation of products that are illegally logged. If the member for Mayo thinks that that is a joke and if he thinks, in a perverse way, that the importation of illegally sourced timber products does not affect industry, jobs and businesses in Australia then I feel very sorry for him. I think that somehow or other his ideology has driven him to the perverse argument which he put before this House a moment ago.

We have had inquiry after inquiry and consultation after consultation, regionally and with our neighbours and trading partners. Indeed, time and time again we have had meeting after meeting with our trading partners over this legislation. The legislation seeks to do two things: to introduce a higher-bar entry to illegally sourced timber products into Australia, and, in the meantime, to work again with stakeholders and our partners to flesh out the regulations, which you are so pleased to say that you want to happen within three years. A three-year delay before regulations are introduced! We made a commitment in the last election and before to introduce such legislation as we have before us now, and I ask you to honour your commitment to that legislation, as we will. And you cannot honour your commitment if you support your own amendment.


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