Environmentalists query Beijing dictating Canberra forest policy.

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China’s decision to lift bans on Australian forest products, if it involves native forests, is a death warrant for much more native wildlife said Bob Brown Foundation today.

The Albanese government ministers, including Foreign Minister Penny Wong, who are gloating about this, are ignoring the plight of large numbers of Australia’s wildlife icons, from koalas to gliders to eagles which lose habitat to every shipment of woodchips which, contradicting their own concerns, have continued to be sent over the ban years.

“Like New Zealand in 2002, Australia should be banning native forest products, including woodchips, from export. Prime Minister Albanese should be ending native forest logging rather than accepting policy decisions about its future dictated from Beijing.

PM Albanese and Foreign Minister Penny Wong should make clear what the impact of the new Beijing policy, if any, will be on native forests.

Like NZ, Australia has enough plantations to meet its wood needs. But under Anthony Albanese, that supply which should be utilised in Australia, is also being readily exported. The Labor government should heed Australian public opinion. Most Australians, and more than three-quarters of Labor voters, want native forest logging stopped. On the forests issue the PM is taking more note of the Beijing bosses than he is of most Australians, including a huge majority of Labor and Greens voters,” said Jenny Weber, Bob Brown Foundation’s Campaigns Manager.

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