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A timber processing company in South Australia has been fined $250,000 after allegedly trying to deceive its customers about the safety of the wood it uses to manufacture their products.
The Australian Environmental Defenders Office (AEDO) launched an investigation after a timber processing firm in South Australian’s Timber Creek Processing and Logging area claimed it was a “world-class” company that was not subject to Australian regulations.
In March 2017, the company allegedly tried to deceive customers by claiming it did not require logging permits, and could produce timber that was processed using traditional methods.
But a year later, a new subsidiary of the company was established.
“While the company is a legitimate and reputable company that processes timber, they have tried to trick customers into thinking they were being told the truth,” AEDO director of enforcement David Kelly said.
After more than a year of investigation, the AEDo found that the company had breached Australian timber law by misleading customers and defrauding them of the value of their timber.
It also found the company failed to meet the requirements of Australian regulatory agencies for the protection of its timber and to comply with Australian law.
Mr Kelly said the company’s actions demonstrated the company should not be allowed to continue in the business it had begun.
Timber Processing Australia was found to have breached the Australian Environmental Protection and Land Use Act (AEPLA) and the Land Transport Act (LTA) by failing to obtain timber permit approvals.
AEPCLA and LTA require the processing of timber products to be conducted in a manner that does not substantially affect the environment.
LTA requires a timber processor to notify the AEC of any changes to its timber practices that may have an adverse effect on the environment or the environment of any person, plant, animal or thing.
If the processing is conducted on the land, timber processors must ensure that the change does not have a significant impact on the timber, water or land resources, and are required to notify AEC if the change results in a reduction in the area of timber processing in the affected area.
This means that the processing does not take place where a significant proportion of the land is grazed or cultivated, and it is prohibited from processing in areas where timber is logged or logged in situ.
Tibor Jones, a timber company employee from South Australia, said the AEPLA had not been met.
He said he was “absolutely shocked” by the findings.
“[The company] has failed to comply [with AEPCLA], [it] has done nothing to protect the environment, [it’s] doing everything to get the customers.”
The company did not have any direct involvement in the construction of the fence, he said.
The AEDS said the investigation was “committed in a serious manner” and the findings had been passed to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Topics:environment,environmental-impact,environment,industry,business-economics-and-finance,business,environment-and/or-farming,harbour-3030,tas,south-australiaContact Sarah HalliMore stories from South Australian