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Help protect the Colquhoun State Forest from illegal activities

One of East Gippsland’s most accessible and beloved state forests, the Colquhoun State Forest is being consistently mistreated, with illegal tree felling, firewood removal and rubbish dumping occurring every week in the area.

Wednesday, 28 September 2022 at 3:00 am

The Conservation Regulator and Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) are now calling on residents to clean up their act and report illegal dumping with over 12 tonnes of rubbish collected over the past six months. 

“This illegal behaviour at the Colquhoun State Forest is having devastating impact on the natural environment which provides habitat for native wildlife,” said Conservation Regulator Gippsland Program Manager, Bradley Woods.

“The Colquhoun State Forest is a Gippsland treasure and we are asking locals to keep an eye out and report illegal behaviour.” 

Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers have recorded piles of rubbish from food scraps, plastics, glass and even motor oils. 

Some offenders have even set fire to their waste piles, posing a significant risk to the forest, those who visit and nearby communities. 

The Colquhoun State Forest is a short six-minute drive from Lakes Entrance and home to many threatened species of plants and wildlife.  

Reporting suspicious behaviour assists authorised officers from FFMVic and the Conservation Regulator to pursue active investigations.  

“We want to send a clear message to those who are mistreating this local forest, we are increasing patrols and actively pursuing information and reports from members of the public,” said Mr Woods. 

“For our local crews, visiting the Colquhoun and witnessing the damage occurring consistently is incredibly disheartening as there are direct impacts on the environment.

“It also limits the public’s ability to access tracks and enjoy nature, and all Victorians carry the burden of the costs associated with frequent cleaning of this forest.” 

Damaging, disturbing, or destroying wildlife habitat carries a maximum fine of more than $9,000.  Anyone who witnesses illegal tree felling or rubbish dumping on public land is encouraged to report it on 136 186.     

Conservation Regulator Victoria