The passing of the Government’s Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill is a great victory for Australian workers, according to the CFMEU.
The Bill is aimed at curtailing the advantages currently enjoyed by illegally logged foreign imports, which seriously threatened timber and pulp and paper jobs in the region.
Despite opposition from the Coalition, the Bill passed 38 to 29 through the Senate last night.
“This is an outstanding result for Australia and the timber and wood products industry as a whole,” CFMEU National Secretary, Michael O’Connor said.
“Workers, families and communities will have a more level playing field when it becomes an offence to import illegally logged timber, which the passing of this Bill guarantees.
“Australia’s environmentally responsible local industry was being put in jeopardy by illegally logged timber imports. This Bill will aim to address that and it is to the Government’s enormous credit that it will now become law.”
Mr O’Connor said the win for workers was a welcome example of what the CFMEU is working for with its Let’s Spread It Around campaign.
“We need to be looking after all vital sectors in our economy, and not simply relying on the commodities boom,” he said.
“There is a huge global future for wood and timber products and Australia should not cut itself out of the action, especially given the vitally important role of forestry and manufacturing jobs in Australia’s regional communities.”