North Queensland company fined over wildlife deaths

Published Thursday, 15 August, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection
The Honourable Andrew Powell

A North Queensland company has been fined a total of $15,000 over the death of a large number of protected birds at Innot Hot Springs, near Atherton.

Osprey Australia Pty Ltd was yesterday found guilty in the Cairns Magistrates Court of the death of 52 brolgas. 

The company was fined $10,000 for contravening the Nature Conservation Act with an additional penalty of $5,000 for the conservation value of the wildlife.  The company was also ordered to pay $3,250 in court costs.

No conviction was recorded.

Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell said wildlife officers had executed a search warrant on the property in June 2011 after receiving reports of dead birds on and near the company’s Innot Hot Springs premises. 

“During this search officers found a large number of carcasses of protected bird species,” Mr Powell said.

“Following an investigation it was determined it was most likely the birds died after ingesting corn kernels contaminated with high levels of a particularly toxic pesticide.”

Expert opinion is that the corn was deliberately contaminated.

“These birds are protected under Queensland law and we take this behaviour very seriously,” Mr Powell said.

In addition to the above prosecution, a company director is also facing a charge regarding the same matter, and will appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court at a later date.

[ENDS] 15 August 2013

Media contact: Brooke Hargraves 0458 689 043