Australia has 125 million hectares of forest, we are the third most forested country in the world on a per capita basis and yet we are a net importer of forest products, said Mr de Fégely.

"Unlike agriculture where we can feed around three times our population we cannot even supply our own needs and our annual trade deficit in forest products of around A$2bn," Mr de Fégely said.

Australia has more than five hectares of forest for every member of our community this is nine times the world average of 0.6 hectare per capita, he told the 300 delegates.

"In Asia, where we source many of our imports of forest products the difference is even more stark, Australia has over 30 times more forest area than our cousins in Asia," he said.
"It is very un-Australian to ‘bludge’ on other countries particularly when they are neither as wealthy nor have the same strong forest management structures that we have."