Contractor Fined $20,000 for Clearing Remnant Vegetation
A Central Queensland man who was contracted to clear endangered remnant vegetation on his neighbour's property was fined $20,000 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court.
The $20,000 penalty is the biggest fine handed to a contractor (non land owner) under the Integrated Planning Act 1997 and Sustainable Planning Act 2009 for a vegetation clearing offence.
In 2009, the contractor cleared 465 hectares of vegetation after being contracted by the property’s owner. More than half the vegetation cleared was classified “endangered remnant vegetation”. This was one of the largest remaining areas of endangered native vegetation in Queensland.
The Department of Environment and Resource Management’s Director of Litigation Reuben Carlos said “Contractors have a responsibility to check whether permits to clear land are required, and if so, whether the landholder has obtained those permits,” Mr Carlos said.
The court heard that the contractor had been under the mistaken impression that the property owner had a permit to clear the land. “Contractors must make sure the property owner has gone through the proper channels before any clearing is carried out.” Mr Carlos added.
Media Release courtesy of: http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/mediaroom/ 2010/07/14-contractor-fined.html