Illegal firewood collectors’ equipment seized by DELWP
DEPARTMENT of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Operation Chainsaw which has been implemented state-wide to address the escalating problem of the unauthorised removal of firewood from Victoria’s public land, will continue.
Under DELWP’s operation more than 40 cubic metres of firewood, alleged to have been removed illegally from state forest, has been seized from a private property in Beechworth last week.
DELWP authorised officers, together with Victoria Police, executed a search warrant under the Forest Act 1958 on August 11.
A ute, a hydraulic l og splitter, a chainsaw and associated timber harvesting tools were also seized from the property.
“It is alleged that an individual had been unlawfully cutting down trees and then removing the timber from state forest to take back to the property to be processed into firewood and sold for personal financial gain,” DELWP operations director Tony Long said.
“The activity of felling trees has a significant impact on the environment and leads to loss of habitat for native fauna that relies on the development of hollows for nesting and roosting sites.
“Felling trees also poses a
THE course for Targa High Country has now been released along with the reconnaissance notes and there are some exciting changes in store for this year’s competitors to ensure that the event is always throwing up new challenges.
The Targa event will be held across three days throughout the Mansfield district from November 6 to 8.
The longest stage ever run in Victoria, and second only to the mighty Mt Arrowsmith, will make the Sunday a day to remember as competitors tackle the monster 39km stage between Jamieson and Eildon in both directions, which will likely determine many of the winners across all of our competitions.
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For further information and entry, email Alice McKenzie at [email protected] before it’s too late. public safety risk and is not allowed on public land for any reason or at any time of the year.
“Operation Chainsaw will continue to target those who undertake illegal activities on Victoria’s land and DELWP authorised officers will actively seek out and investigate instances of illegal commercial timber harvesting.
“DELWP and Parks Victoria staff patrol forests and take a zero tolerance approach to those who are breaking laws relating to the collection and sale of firewood.
“People undertaking this type of activity face the risk of having all items used in committing an offence seized and potentially forfeited to the Crown,” Mr Long said.
“People who cut down trees and remove forest produce such as firewood face a maximum penalty in court of one year imprisonment or a $7580 fine or both in addition to on-the-spot fines of $590 for lesser offences such as exceeding the daily limit per person during the firewood collecting season.
“People buying firewood should ask to see a VicForests commercial firewood licence before purchasing i f t hey suspect the timber has been sourced from public land.
“If you buy firewood from illegal operators you are assisting them in the damage they do to the environment and our wildlife.
“Firewood collection is only permitted on public land during designated times of the year and from designated firewood collection areas.
“It is not legal to sell firewood collected on public land or to take more than the allowed amount.
“The spring firewood collection period will commence on September 1 until November 30,” Mr Long concluded.
Members of the community are encouraged to provide information of such offences to the DELWP Customer Service Centre on 136186.
All information will be treated as confidential. Last week was National Support Staff Week and Mansfield Primary School acting principal Phil Brown surprised the support staff group with an enormous cake in appreciation of their work. It was a lovely gesture and very much appreciated by all, said Mark Buscombe. Enjoying morning tea were (from left) Angela Desmond, Andrea Kirley and Lisa Gray, (seated) Tracey Griffiths, Joan Watt and Mark Buscombe (school chaplain). Absent for the photo was Tina Stewart.