The largest fine ever imposed on an individual for illegal vegetation clearing was handed down against a western Queensland man by the Roma Magistrates Court.
The defendant, Sam Scriven, was fined $118,000 and ordered to pay $23,823.59 in legal costs to the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM).
The DERM took action against Mr Scriven for clearing over 1800 hectares of native vegetation after it became aware of the clearing by examining satellite photographs of his property, west of St George.
At the hearing, Mr Scriven claimed that the clearing was required to provide feed for his cattle. The Roma Magistrates Court accepted that had he applied for a development permit he may have been granted one, but said that what had been cleared was far in excess of what would have been permitted.
The decision is an example of the move towards tougher penalties for illegal vegetation clearing and of the serious consequences that can result from failing to obtain a development permit.
Federal, State and local laws may apply to vegetation clearing. Remember to always seek advice before clearing vegetation on any property.
For more information, please contact:
T +61 7 3100 5014
F +61 7 3100 5001
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