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Source: Government of Victoria 3

As part of a crackdown on illegal tree felling and removal within parks and reserves, last month Parks Victoria Authorised Officers and Victoria Police seized equipment and will lay charges for offences around the Kyneton and Castlemaine areas.

A large number of trees, including significant hollow trees, have been cut down and removed from Fryers Ridge Nature Conservation Reserve, Lauriston Nature Conservation Reserve and Castlemaine Diggings National Heritage Park, destroying important habitats for mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates.

Parks Victoria staff have been actively monitoring a number of sites for some months where the illegal removal of wood has been occurring.  Investigations in conjunction with Victoria Police, led to the execution of a search warrant on a residential property and the subsequent seizure of items relating to the offences detected.

Patrols seven days a week and smaller hidden cameras with the ability to send photos of offenders to Parks Victoria employees in real time are being used to quickly detect illegal activity and take action.

From July this year an operation has been targeting people who are allegedly cutting down trees to supply buyers with illegal firewood.

Firewood can only be collected from designated collection areas in certain areas during permitted seasons. Details of where firewood can be collected on public land is available at http://www.delwp.vic.gov.au/parks-forests-and-crown-land/firewood. Buyers should seek to source firewood from legal and sustainable sources.

Quotes attributable to Ron Waters, Senior Manager Enforcement and Regulatory Services, Parks Victoria:

“Parks Victoria is committed to identifying and managing threats to environmental and cultural values across Victoria. Tree hollows provide precious habitat for native birds, mammals, reptiles and invertebrates like the Squirrel Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Regent Parrot, Red-tailed Black Cockatoo and the Tree Goanna.

“If you observe anyone causing damage to park habitat, removing wood or have information about environmental offences please contact Parks Victoria on 13 1963. All information will be treated confidentially.”

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