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Koalas at risk from locally-sourced timber: green group
04/07/2012 - Environmental campaigners have stepped up pressure on retailer Harvey Norman to encourage an industry-wide move away from furniture sourced from native Australian forests that koalas call home. Kim Christian
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Freedom Furniture, Sleep City and Everyday Living are also targeted in the campaign by environment group Markets For Change.
Harvey Norman says it is aware of the campaign but it has refused to comment.
Consumers are being warned they are unwittingly damaging koala habitats by buying products sourced from native forests.
Markets For Change on Tuesday released a report titled No Harvey No. It tracks the path from forest to showroom of timber used to make furniture and flooring.
The report said wood from trees in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia was milled locally and shipped to China where it was used to produce furniture, mainly for the Australian market.
The report said more than 1.4 million cubic metres of wood was harvested from native forests in NSW in 2008-09, a figure that has caused concern among scientists.
Markets For Change believes customers should know where their purchases originate and are calling on Harvey Norman to introduce environmental procurement policies on the sourcing of wood products.
"Unless logging is reduced, koalas could become locally extinct in parts of NSW," it said.
Markets For Change is hoping it can encourage Harvey Norman, one of Australia's largest furniture retailers, to lead the charge on changing attitudes.
"Harvey Norman plays a key role and carries a special responsibility in terms of policies to protect the environment through the products it purchases in this particular market," the report said.
"(Harvey Norman should) publicly commit to stop selling products that are made from Australian native forests."
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