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GetUp! campaigns against the environment

20, November 2011

Online activist organisation GetUp! has again demonstrated it is prepared to launch campaigns without providing facts and evidence to its members to enlist their informed support says the Australian Environment Foundation [AEF].

Last week GetUp! exhorted its members to sign an online petition attacking retailer Harvey Norman for stocking furniture made from native timber harvested under the regulatory approval of state governments.

“To campaign against world’s best practice forestry management while inferring this causes “the destruction of our precious native forests” is misleading and will cost Australian jobs without providing any environmental benefit” said Max Rheese, AEF executive director.

Over 90 per cent of Australian native forests are permanently protected from timber harvesting with less than half of one per cent harvested annually.  All timber coupes are regenerated after harvesting with local species.  The location and quantity of timber harvesting operations are directly controlled and supervised by government forestry officers.

“It is untruthful to suggest that plantations can supply the quantity, quality and variety of timbers required for the furniture trade and yet this is what GetUp! is telling its supporters”.

The Bureau of Rural Sciences forecasts that “the supply of hardwood sawlogs is low and
not expected to increase significantly for many years.”

“No facts or evidence about Australia’s sustainable timber industry are provided to supporters for them to make an informed judgement about the merit of the campaign to bully retailers into conforming to the demands of GetUp!

“If the furniture trade were forced to reject native timbers, their only real option would be to increase imports, much of which is sourced from illegal and unsustainable harvesting operations in countries with poor forest management practices.  

“Irresponsible campaigns like this undermine the credibility of the environment movement and lead to poor environmental outcomes in other countries.

“This however has been the hallmark of GetUp! campaigns, to mobilise people who are not well informed on issues into action with the click of a button, on the premise that a ‘social good’ will result if they are successful” said Mr Rheese. 


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