Independent report identifies improvements to illegal logging regulations
Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston
Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Assistant Cabinet Secretary and Assistant Minister for Finance, Dr Peter Hendy MP
25 February 2016
The Australian Government has today released the independent review into the impact of illegal logging regulations on Australian businesses.
Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer, Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Senator Anne Ruston, and Assistant Cabinet Secretary and Assistant Minister for Finance, Dr Peter Hendy MP, said the government was supporting all five of the recommendations in this review and will progress reforms.
Minister Ruston said the review identified a range of actions that will likely minimise the business cost of complying with Australia’s illegal logging regulation.
“The government remains completely committed to combating the illegal logging trade and in addition we are now minimising unreasonable and unnecessary costs on businesses,” Minister Ruston said.
“Illegal logging has significant global economic, environmental, and social impacts and undercuts the legal timber market here in Australia.
Minister O’Dwyer said the review found there was an opportunity to amend the existing regulation to strike a better balance between the risk of illegal timber entering the Australian market and the very real cost of compliance to small businesses which are doing the right thing.
“Any changes to illegal logging regulations will be about finding that balance and the government will continue to consult stakeholders on any proposed regulatory changes,” Minister O’Dwyer said.
“We know that it can take time for businesses to adjust to new regulatory arrangements, so we will extend the existing ‘soft-start’ compliance period while the changes are being progressed, so no penalties will apply for failing to meet the due diligence requirements.”
Assistant Minister Hendy said any proposed changes would be informed by further consultation and progressed with minimal impact on businesses.
“Just as KPMG spoke with businesses and individuals from across the industry in undertaking this review, the government will continue that conversation on any proposed regulatory changes,” Minister Hendy said.