A 25-year-old Bairnsdale man has been convicted and fined $1500 after pleading guilty to two charges relating to illegal off-road driving in the Nunniong State Forest.
The man was convicted in the Bairnsdale Magistrates Court on Wednesday after saying he made a ‘silly mistake’ while admitting he forced open and damaged a seasonal closure gate and drove on to a closed road in a sensitive alpine area in October 2021.
Seasonal gates are in place to protect these sensitive environments and to preserve public access tracks over the cooler, wetter months of the year.
The man said what he did ‘was stupid’ as Magistrate Wallington fined him $1,500 and ordered him to pay $244.86 in additional costs.
Alpine environments harbour a fascinating range of native plants and wildlife only found in these rare high-altitude regions. Damage to the Nunniong State Forest impacts on not only this unique environment but the future useability and enjoyment of the area by fellow members of the public.
This conviction should serve as a reminder to anyone thinking about illegal behaviours in our parks and forests that they will be caught and face the consequences.
Reviewed 30 September 2022