Community & Business

16 November, 2022

Company charged over logging in Wet Tropics

A TOWNSVILLE based logging company has been handed a $10,000 fine after they illegally chopped down 23 trees in the Shiptons Flat World Heritage Area in Rossville last year.

Company charged over logging in Wet Tropics - feature photo

The species of trees felled consisted of red tulip oak, black bean, red mahogany and cadagi, the company conducted the logging despite the absence of any approvals from the Wet Tropics Management Authority or the Jabalbina Yalanji Aboriginal Corporation, which led to environmental damage.

The company was ordered to pay $2,000 in legal costs and no conviction was recorded.

The penalties have been welcomed by the Authority and the Department of Environment and Science (DES).

Authority executive director Scott Buchanan said the outcome of the ruling sends a strong message.

“The Queensland Government is serious about protecting our World Heritage Areas,” he said.

“The sentence handed down by the Magistrate demonstrated a strong willingness to deter others from these kinds of illegal activities.

“The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area is protected for its outstanding universal value to the world, and is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet.”

Logs from the felled trees were transported to a holding yard in Townsville, DES investigators attended the holding yard and seized the logs this month.

Investigators also executed a search warrant at Shiptons Flat and catalogued tree stumps, felled trees left in situ, and vegetation damage as a result of access tracks at the site.

The court accepted that the company did not make any money from the unlawful logging and through its actions, was helping local elders.

However, the court found that the company’s actions were “not entirely altruistic” in that it had hoped paid business may follow in future.

The Magistrate stated that had the unlawful logging been commercial, she would have “added a zero” to the fine.


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