Gillard’s double standard

On Monday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard held a press conference to defend herself against claims of wrongdoing.

FreedomWatchers will find one comment Gillard made during that press conference particularly interesting. In answer to journalists’ more probing questions she said: “You can’t report things that you don’t know.”

True. So why did the Gillard government pass a law last week requiring such disclosure from importers of timber products?

The Illegal Logging Prohibition Bill 2012 passed through the Senate last week and is now awaiting royal assent before becoming law. I wrote about it on FreedomWatch last month.

The new law will require timber products importers to prove that their products are free from any illegally logged material. But the law is impossible to comply with – some supply chains involved are very complex and the definition of illegal logging includes the laws of jurisdictions in which importers don’t operate.

And, as the prime minister said on Monday, you can’t report what you don’t know.

The Gillard government is guilty of a glaring double standard: it’s one standard for the prime minister and another for importers of wood chips, furniture and paper.


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