VCAT upholds Council decision

The importance of preserving native vegetation has been recognised by the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal.

The tribunal recently upheld an Alpine Shire Council enforcement order.
The owner of an Ovens property on the Great Alpine Road was found to have extensively cleared a significant amount of native vegetation on his property over a three year period without a permit.

Manager Planning and Environment Services Heather Green said it was important to preserve the Alpine Shire’s natural beauty.

“The Alpine Shire has a wonderful natural environment that is valued by residents and visitors,” she said.

“It is extremely important we preserve our natural environment so future generations can enjoy it. We are committed to ensuring the Alpine Shire is a great place to live and visit in the present and in the future.”

VCAT senior member Jeanette Rickards said in her conclusion that “it is not the way vegetation is destroyed, rather it is the act of destroying…without a permit, that is in issue.”

The owner was found to have deliberately poisoned natural vegetation before planting chestnut trees in its place.

Ms Rickards added that “I see no reason why (name withheld) should be able to retain the chestnut trees he has planted in area 1 and gain a commercial advantage for having breached the Alpine Planning Scheme by the removal of an extensive area of native vegetation without a planning permit.”

The decision by VCAT is only the second of its kind to happen in north-east Victoria.


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