New green standard for Australian timber

Australian wood products must now be sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Australian wood products must now be sourced from sustainably managed forests.

A new national standard will ensure Australian wood products are sourced from sustainably managed forests.

Assistant minister for agriculture Richard Colbeck says the new standard will ensure sustainability is central to Australia's forest and wood products sector.

Global demand for timber products is expected to quadruple by 2050, Mr Colbeck says.

"The new Australian FSC standard will help us tap into this growth market by utilising a globally recognised trust mark for sustainable forest management," he said in a statement on Monday.

"Consumers are increasingly aware of, and interested in, the origins of the products they buy and the processes that go into making them."

The Wilderness Society welcomed the new standard after years of negotiations between conservationists and industry.

The charity's national director Lyndon Schneiders says an existing global standard has seen major retailers such as Bunnings and Officeworks pledge to only sell certified products from 2020.

"It's up to the rest of the industry to also try to reach that standard and secure markets," he said.

All levels of government should ensure any future logging agreements meet the new environmental management requirements, he added.

Australian Associated Press