Activists face court over action to save world’s last rainforests

Press release - 1 September, 2011
Sydney, Friday 2 September, 2011: Seven Greenpeace activists face court this morning for ‘entering on enclosed lands’ during their action to expose illegal timber use in the construction of the high-profile ‘Central Park’ development at the old Carlton Brewery in Sydney’s CBD.

During the action on Wednesday the 27th of July, Greenpeace activists cordoned off piles of illegal logged timber confirmed to have come from the last remaining rainforests of Malaysian Borneo. They then scaled a 30 metre construction crane to hang a banner reading ‘Ban Illegal Timber’.

The development company, Frasers Property, announced a full audit of its timber supplies following the action.

“Each year, hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal timber winds up in Australian homes and offices because there are no laws to stop it,[1]” said Greenpeace Communications Manager James Lorenz.

“Greenpeace is calling on the government to pass new laws that will shut down the illegal timber trade in Australia,” he said.

“Unless Australian laws are tightened beyond what is currently proposed by the Government, precious rainforests in Indonesia and Borneo will continue to be destroyed for Australian buildings.”

The plywood found at the Central Park development comes from timber concessions in Sarawak where systematic and widespread incidents of illegal logging were documented.

The rainforests of Sarawak are some of the oldest and most biologically diverse on Earth. They provide habitats for rare and endemic species like the clouded leopard and the Bornean orang-utan.[2]


[1] The Australian Government commissioned a report in 2005 which estimated illegal timber imports to be $A400m but more a more recent estimation by the EU Commission put the figure at $A840m. See, p6-7