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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Record fine for illegal land clearing

    Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Minister for State Development and Trade
    The Honourable Andrew Fraser

    Saturday, October 08, 2011

    Record fine for illegal land clearing

    A western Queensland man has been handed a record fine for illegally clearing more than 1,800 hectares of native vegetation without a permit on a property west of St George.


    Sam Scriven was convicted in the Roma Magistrates Court with illegally clearing 1,819 hectares of native vegetation on a property at Nebine.

    He was fined $118,000 and ordered to pay $23,823.59 for costs incurred by the Department of Environment and Resource Management to investigate and pursue the charges under the Integrated Planning Act 1997.

    Acting Natural Resources Minister Andrew Fraser said the result sends a strong message to landholders that they won’t get away with illegal clearing.

    “This sort of illegal clearing is a huge threat to vulnerable wildlife and biodiversity in the Central Queensland region,” Mr Fraser said.

    “We have tough vegetation management laws in place to protect our environment and landholders should know that we won’t hesitate to investigate and prosecute anyone suspected of illegal clearing.

    “The record fine that has been handed down in this instance makes it clear – people who flout these laws will face tough penalties.”

    Mr Fraser said Mr Scriven did not make any attempt to ensure he was within the law.

    “Mr Scriven did not consult DERM about the clearing, nor did he apply for a permit,” Mr Fraser said.

    “It is understood that he argued the clearing was carried out to provide fodder as food for his cattle, however our investigation showed that the nature and scale of the clearing was not consistent with what would have been approved for fodder purposes.

    “Experts have suggested his actions have caused damage to the local ecosystem including flora, fauna, and biodiversity.”

    The clearing, which took place between 10 August 2006 and 22 February 2008, was discovered through analysis of satellite imagery by the Department of Environment and Resource Management’s (DERM) Statewide Landcover and Trees Study.

    Landholders who wish to clear vegetation should always contact DERM first, as well as their local government and Federal Government agencies, to ensure they are abiding by relevant environmental management laws.

    More information on vegetation management in Queensland can be found at www.derm.qld.gov.au or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

    ENDS

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