Main Arm Land Owner Fined $15,000 for Cutting Down Koala Feed Trees
A MAIN ARM land owner has been issued penalty notices (on-the-spot fines) totalling $15,000 for illegally removing trees from a property near Mullumbimby.
The five mature Tallowood trees were koala feed trees.
Shannon Burt, Byron Shire Council’s Director Sustainable Environment and Economy, said Council received a number of complaints about the removal of trees at the property at Main Arm.
“Staff investigated and found the removal of the trees was illegal and Council then took legal action against the land owner under the NSW Planning and Environment Act,” Ms Burt said.
“Council, and our community, takes very seriously, the destruction of trees, especially those that are known food sources for koalas,” she said.
“Penalty Notices totalling $15,000 were given to the Main Arm resident highlighting his flagrant breach of the law and the seriousness of removing trees without Council permission,” Ms Burt said.
“Unfortunately this does not change the fact that five important native trees were cut down illegally but it does provide a level of satisfaction for local residents that this person has been fined for his actions,” she said.
In a separate incident a person at Suffolk Park has been issued with a $3,000 Penalty Notice for pruning trees on a Byron Shire Council reserve.
“It is not OK for people to prune trees on public land and this fine is a message that this behaviour will not be tolerated by Council or the community,” Ms Burt said.