Forestry Corp fined $530,000 this month for environmentally reckless and unlawful behaviour

Nature Conservation Council

Forestry Corporation has been prosecuted and fined four times this month for alleged illegal logging operations in koala habitat, fire-affected forests and within exclusion zones.

Yesterday, it was revealed the Land and Environment Court had ordered Forestry Corp to pay $230,000 for failing to comply with conditions restricting logging in important habitat for the eastern horseshoe bat in Dampier State Forest, northwest of Narooma on the South Coast.

This brings the total spent by FCNSW on fines and legal costs in the past month alone to $530,600.

This figure rises to $684,700 when other fines and costs accrued by Forestry Corp since April 2020 are added. (See below.)

“Forestry Corp is running at a multi-million-dollar loss, subsidised by the tax-payer,” Nature Conservation Council Chief Executive Chris Gambian said.

“The public are now also bearing the brunt of paying fines for the illegal logging they have committed.

“We cannot continue subsidising the trashing of our public forests which is super-charging our extinction crisis.

“Forestry Corp is behaving like an outlaw organisation, not a government agency entrusted with managing 2 million hectares of public forests

“This is the fourth time in a fortnight that Forestry Corporation has been fined or prosecuted for serious breaches of environmental protection laws.

“The government must establish a comprehensive independent review of Forestry Corporation to ensure it acts lawfully and sustainably. 

Forestry Corporation is a repeat offender, with nine alleged major breaches since April 2020. 

Forestry Corp fines and prosecutions since 2020

  1. Jun 2022 – FCNSW fined $230,000 by Land and Environment Court
  2. Jun 2022 – EPA fines FCNSW $15,000 for allegedly failing to comply with post-fire conditions South Brooman State Forest.
  3. Jun 2022 – EPA prosecutes FCNSW for alleged breaches of post-fire conditions at Yambulla State Forest, near Eden after the 2019/20 bushfires.
  4. Jun 2022 – $138,000 - Wild Cattle Creek State Forest
  5. Apr 2022 – $45,000 - Mogo State Forest  
  6. Feb 2021 – $15,000 - Olney State Forest  
  7. Feb 2021 – $30,000 - Ballengarra State Forest  
  8. Mar 2021 – $33,000 - Boyne, Bodalla and Mogo State Forest  
  9. Apr 2020 – $31,100 - Tantawangalo and Bago State Forest  

/Public Release. View in full here.