SANDALWOOD HARVEST —
681. Hon COLIN HOLT to the Minister for Environment:
I refer to current sandalwood
(1) Is the Forest
Products Commission operating within the sandalwood transport regulations with
the same conditions as private property and plantation harvesters?
(2) If no to (1), can the minister
please explain what transport regulations it is operating under?
(3) If no to (1),
can the minister please explain why it is not operating under these transport
(4) Under the
new biodiversity act and regulations, plantation sandalwood is now classified
as ''specifically controlled sandalwood''. Can the minister
please explain why plantation sandalwood and operations are being regulated in
the same way as wild sandalwood?
STEPHEN DAWSON replied:
I thank the
honourable member for some notice of the question.
Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions must be notified
before any native sandalwood is transported. Plantation harvesters need to give
this notification only one business day before wood is transported, while other
harvesters must provide three business days' notice, providing more
flexibility for the plantation sector. DBCA is liaising with the Forest Products
Commission regarding the management of its contractors. Very similar
arrangements are in place with respect to sandalwood transport requirements for
FPC sandalwood contractors, and private property and plantation harvesters.
Private property and plantation native sandalwood harvesters must complete the
approved sandalwood tracking form, while FPC contractors are currently using
the existing delivery note. This is an interim arrangement until an online
system is implemented through which all harvesters will use the same form. Both
forms require the same information to be recorded.
(4) The overall
scope of the sandalwood licensing regime being given effect to under the
Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations
2018 is consistent with the 2016 native sandalwood industry strategy for Western
Australia, which in turn is consistent with the findings of the 2014
parliamentary inquiry into the sandalwood industry. This licensing regime
assists in ensuring that any native sandalwood supplied, processed or sold in
or exported from Western Australia has been
legally sourced. Having a licensing regime that demonstrates a complete chain
of custody from source to export meets international market demands for
authenticated, traceable supplies of WA sandalwood, benefiting both plantation
and native sectors of the industry. Ensuring that plantation native sandalwood
is required to comply with the same licensing requirements of the BC act and
regulations safeguards against illegally harvested wild sandalwood being sold
on the open market.