A Smythesdale man yesterday appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates’ Court and plead guilty to illegal firewood collection from the Ross Creek and Linton State forests.

It is an offence under the Forests Act 1958 to cut or remove timber from a State forest without a permit.  

The man was convicted and sentenced to a community corrections order requiring 150 hours of unpaid community service.

Two vehicles and six chainsaws belonging to the man were also seized and will be disposed of, along with a quantity of firewood found at an address in Smythesdale.

The successful prosecution follows an investigation by Authorised Officers from the Office of the Conservation Regulator (OCR), which was assisted by information from members of the local community.

Illegal firewood collection is a top priority for the OCR given the significant negative impacts on forest health, threatened species, public safety and the sustainability of firewood resources relied upon by local communities to keep them warm over colder months.

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

The OCR has been established to bring together all of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) regulatory functions in one place.

Led by Victoria’s first Chief Conservation Regulator, it will work to ensure DELWP regulates the natural environment and conservation effectively to prevent the law being broken and to respond appropriately when it is.

Page last updated: 07/01/20