- Thursday, 23 February 2023 at 2:21 am
Three Shepparton men have been fined a combined amount of $5000 after they were found guilty of a total of 10 charges related to the illegal take of firewood from the Lower Goulburn National Park in September 2021.
On Monday, a 35-year-old man was convicted and fined $3000 for 5 offences at the Shepparton Magistrates’ Court, including cutting and taking away more than 2 cubic metres of fallen or felled trees, damaging wildlife habitat and abusing and threatening a Conservation Regulator Authorised Officer.
A 53-year-old man was also convicted and fined $1000 on Monday for illegally taking away firewood, an offence under the National Parks Act 1975.
In a related case which resolved on 19 January 2023, a 62-year-old man was fined $1000 after admitting to illegally cutting and removing trees and destroying wildlife habitat.
The men were all detected via concealed cameras installed by Conservation Regulator Authorised Officers as part of Operation Rivergum in 2021.
Operation Rivergum is a joint operation between the Conservation Regulator and Parks Victoria to address illegal firewood removal from vulnerable ecosystems along the Murray River corridor. It targets people who are removing firewood in large quantities for commercial gain and in doing so, destroying areas of wildlife habitat and native vegetation.
The Lower Goulburn National Park provides habitat for some of our most iconic and threatened species, including koalas, tree goannas, superb parrots and brush-tailed phascogales.
The community can help by reporting suspected illegal firewood collection by calling 136 186.
The autumn firewood collection season opens on 1 March 2023, with designated collection areas and limits to protect the environment and community firewood resources.
For more information on where you can collect, visit Forest Fire Management Victoria's webpage on firewood collection in your region.
Information about firewood collection rules be found on the firewood regulation page.