Media Releases - 01 July 2020

Bunnings ditches dodgy timber

Logging coupe near Toolangi, Central Highlands, Victoria. Image: Brent Lukey.

  • Bunnings to discontinue sourcing of wood from VicForests, the Victorian state government logging agency. 
  • This follows last month’s Federal Court ruling that VicForests is in breach of federal and state laws
  • Bunnings’ decision is a clear signal that illegally logged timber won’t be tolerated by Australians.

The Wilderness Society welcomes advice from Bunnings that is discontinuing sourcing wood supplied by VicForests. This comes a month after the Federal Court ruled VicForests was and is logging in breach of state and federal laws—an outcome described by the Wilderness Society as ‘the Franklin Dam of forest-legal outcomes’. The Court also found that VicForests’ logging is directly contributing to forest wildlife extinction.

“Illegally logged timber has no place on Australian hardware shelves—or in Australians’ homes or businesses,” said Amelia Young, National Campaigns Director for the Wilderness Society. “The recent Federal Court judgement is clear: VicForests has consistently failed to follow the law and its operations have directly contributed to the decline of the Leadbeater’s Possum and the Greater Glider.” 

Two years ago Bunnings announced that it would only stock wood sourced from uncontroversial sources by 2020. 

“VicForests’ inability to deal with rampant illegality across its logging operations has led to this clear response from one of Australia’s leading hardware stores that illegally logged wood is unacceptable. We expect other retailers of wood and paper products sourced through VicForests’ illegal logging will follow suit.

“The Federal Court ruled that not only had VicForests repeatedly broken the law, but also that it was likely to continue to do so. It’s clear that major Australian retailers can’t afford to be associated with illegally logged native forests, anymore than they could import tools made of ivory or furniture upholstered with tiger skin.

“Bunnings has already taken a leadership role in ensuring that its imported timber products are from low risk sources, so it makes sense that it is starting to clean up its domestic supply.

“Removing wood sourced from Victoria’s native forests is a good start, but concerns remain about the sustainability and legality of wood sourced from native forests in Tasmania, New South Wales and Western Australia.

“There’s no place for illegal logging in Australia. It’s time the native forest logging sector cleaned up its act. The recent Federal Court ruling was a wake up call, and Bunnings’ decision is a clear signal that illegally logged timber won’t be tolerated,” concluded Amelia Young.  

For more information or comment, please contact:

Tim Beshara on 0437878786