Mooroopna man fined for illegally taking and selling firewood

A 54-year-old Mooroopna man was fined $2,500 after he pled guilty to 4 charges relating to the illegal cut, take and sale of firewood from the Lower Goulburn National Park.

Sunday, 4 December 2022 at 10:43 pm
Man's ute filled with illegal firewood
Ute filled with illegal firewood caught on concealed camera

A Mooroopna man has been fined $2,500 after he pled guilty to 4 charges relating to the illegal cut, take and sale of firewood from public land at the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court on Thursday last week.

The 54-year-old admitted to illegally removing approximately 2.79 cubic metres of timber across 3 occasions in August and October last year from the Lower Goulburn National Park. That timber was then sold as firewood.

He also pled guilty to an offence relating to disturbing wildlife habitat under the Wildlife Regulations 2013. 

Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers detected the man after he was captured on concealed cameras, which were installed as part of a coordinated, joint operation between Conservation Regulator, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Parks Victoria

Operation Rivergum targets illegal, commercial firewood removal from vulnerable ecosystems along the Goulburn, Ovens, Loddon and Murray Rivers.

In sentencing, Magistrate Muling noted the man had accepted the importance of the park as a sanctuary for wildlife and described his actions as 'not trivial'.

The Lower Goulburn National Park is an area of high conservation value, and many iconic native species rely on hollow logs and dead trees for habitat.

Domestic firewood collection is only allowed in designated firewood collection areas during the autumn and spring firewood collection seasons and cannot be sold for personal profit.

Find details of where, when and what firewood can be collected.

Find more information about collecting firewood in Victoria.

The community can report the illegal cutting or removal of firewood anonymously by calling 136 186.  

There is no excuse for stealing wood from public land and selling it for personal gain. These trees are crucial to maintaining the health of our forests and parks and their loss will have immediate and long-term impacts on wildlife.

The Conservation Regulator puts a lot of effort towards reducing the frequency of firewood being removed illegally from Victoria’s public land, particularly in places with high environmental values. If we catch you, you risk having chainsaws, trailers and even vehicles used in the commission of these offences seized on the spot. You also face the very real risk of paying a large fine.

Greg Chant Manager Regulatory Operations, Hume Region