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Local men charged over illegal firewood removal

Thursday 20 March, 2014

Two Nathalia men pleaded guilty in Echuca Magistrates’ Court on 11 March 2014 on charges of illegally obtaining firewood from the Barmah National Park in May last year.

Both men were charged without conviction and ordered to pay a $2500 fine plus court costs. The maximum penalty available for the charge is $7218 or one year imprisonment, or both. The case serves as a timely reminder to the public to adhere to firewood collection regulations during the autumn 2014 firewood collection season, which opened on 1 March.

The two men were detected felling a significantly sized River Red Gum (more than two cubic metres of a felled tree from a park) during Operation Detroit, a multi-agency compliance operation between Victoria Police, Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) and Parks Victoria.

The men admitted that it was their intention to sell the timber for financial gain.

The public are reminded that they can only collect firewood for domestic use from designated firewood areas and must adhere to all regulations. See more information and domestic firewood collection areas at http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/forestry-and-land-use/forest-management/firewood.

In addition, purchasers of firewood are encouraged to ensure that the suppliers of firewood are appropriately licensed and the firewood has been obtained legally.

Anyone with information in relation to the illegal removal of firewood from public land are encouraged to provide any information, remaining confidential, to either Parks Victoria on 13 1963 or DEPI on 136 186.

Land management authorities will continue to detect and prosecute anyone found illegally removing firewood from public land.

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