BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – 04/02/2020

Responsible Wood CEO Simon Dorries has released a media statement on the land clearing koala deaths…

Following extensive media reporting of the tragic deaths of koalas in Portland, Victoria, Australia’s largest forest certification body, Responsible Wood, can confirm the private landowner is not certified to the Australian Standard for sustainable forest management. Responsible wood understands the landowner has admitted responsibility for what was an unauthorized and potentially illegal land clearing operation, and not a forest harvesting operation.

Responsible Wood CEO, Simon Dorries said the certified harvesting of plantation trees requires forestry operators to implement procedures detailed in standards to identify and protect wildlife habitat. Certified plantation forest harvests in the Portland area follow detailed koala preservation procedures.

Koala preservation procedures are also overseen by the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.  Drones and human spotters are used to find all koalas by experienced foresters whose aim is ensure full sustainability of the forests and their habitats.

“We share the community concern and reiterate that such an occurrence is completely in conflict with our sustainable forest management standards.” Mr Dorries said.

Responsible Wood understands the matter is being investigated by authorities and does not anticipate making further comment.

Simon Dorries – Chief Executive Officer

For media inquiries, please contact: Jason Ross, Marketing and Communications Officer, Responsible Wood, tel: +61 7 3359 1758, jross@responsbilewood.org.au