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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1140 asked in the Legislative Council on 15 October 2019 by Hon Diane Evers

Minister responding: Hon S.N. Dawson
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS — ILLEGAL FIREWOOD

1140. Hon DIANE EVERS to the Minister for Environment:

(1) How many reports of illegal cutting or taking of timber for firewood or other use in national and state parks did the department receive in each of the years 2017–18, 2018–19, and 2019 to date?

(2) Which parks did these reports of illegal activity relate to?

(3) How many of these reports were followed up, and how many resulted in fines or other penalties?

(4) What is the time frame for following up on a complaint of illegal activity involving the cutting or taking of timber?

(5) Does the department report back on the outcome to the original complainant?

Hon STEPHEN DAWSON replied:

I thank the honourable member for some notice of the question.

(1)–(2) The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions does not maintain a central database of public reports relating to illegal cutting or taking of firewood. DBCA has nine regions across the state that deal directly with members of the public with regard to local reports of illegal taking of firewood. DBCA regional and district offices maintain records, which in many cases are kept in hard copy. Obtaining a response to this question is not possible in the time frame and compilation of this information would require a review of hardcopy records, diverting considerable staff resources from other core business duties.

(3) The following offences are recorded under the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984, section 103, ''Taking Forest Produce'', for the respective periods: 2017–18, seven cautions, 23 infringements and two prosecutions; 2018–19, eight cautions and 13 infringements; and 2019–20, two cautions and two infringements.

(4) There is a 45-day limitation for the issuing of infringement notices pursuant to the Conservation and Land Management Act 1984 and regulations, and a two-year statute of limitations should prosecution action be initiated.

(5) There is no legislative requirement for this to occur; however, DBCA staff endeavour to respond to the complainant if the person who made the report requests it. On many occasions, reports of illegal activity that are reported to DBCA are anonymous.