SA trio fined for Victorian firewood offences

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SA trio fined for Victorian firewood offences

Three South East men have been fined after illegally cutting down trees for firewood in the Nangeela State Forest near Casterton.

The men from Naracoorte, Furner and Mount Gambier, all aged in their 20s, were caught taking the wood in September and October last year and were fined a combined total of $4810.

The men admitted to cutting and taking four cubic metres of redgum wood after Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers caught them on concealed cameras targeting illegal firewood operations along the South Australian border.

Two of the men received infringements for illegal off-road driving under the Land Conservation (Vehicle Control) Regulations 2013, while all three were fined for cutting and taking the timber, a breach of the Forests Act 1958.

In Victoria, it is illegal to cut and take timber from standing trees or take fallen trees or branches from public land without authorisation.

Barwon South West Region Forest and Wildlife Officer Simon Donald said the loss of standing and fallen mature trees and their hollows risked the survival of many of Victoria’s native mammals, reptiles and birds.

“Firewood users can help preserve habitat and protect community resources by ensuring they source firewood from legal collection areas or buy firewood from reputable sources,” he said.

“The Conservation Regulator is targeting illegal firewood theft through Operation Hollows, a partnership with Parks Victoria and Forest Fire Management Victoria.

“Authorised Officers regularly patrol forests, parks and reserves and will penalise anyone attempting to take firewood illegally.

“These fines should serve as a reminder to anyone thinking about taking timber from our parks and forests they will be caught and face consequences – no matter where they live.

“Anyone illegally taking timber from public land is destroying wildlife habitat and putting our threatened native species at risk.”

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