Council successfully prosecutes illegal native vegetation removal

10 May 2017

49 native trees were illegally cut down in Freeburgh

A shire resident who cut down 49 trees from a neighbouring property has been successfully prosecuted by Alpine Shire Council for the illegal removal of native vegetation.

“Preserving our native vegetation, whether on public or private land, is critical to protect the biodiversity of our region,” said Heather Green, Manager Planning and Amenity, Alpine Shire Council.

“The removal of such a large number of mature native trees along the Great Alpine Road in Freeburgh is a serious breach of the law and a loss to our natural environment.”

The Myrtleford Magistrates Court last month issued a fine of $5,000 and ordered the defendant to pay $5,259.90 in costs to Alpine Shire Council as well as a further $12,000 to reinstate the affected land and plant new trees.

Anyone who illegally removes native vegetation – whether a property owner, contractor or other third party – can be prosecuted under the Planning and Environment Act for Native Vegetation Removal.

Ms Green said residents who would like to remove native vegetation from their property should contact the Council to see if they require a permit.

“Residents often need a permit to remove native vegetation from private property; however, there are some circumstances in which a permit is not needed. We recommend anyone planning to remove native vegetation to first contact Alpine Shire Council to seek advice from a Council officer,” she said.

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