26 September 2023

Forest rangers to fine firewood hunters

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With cooler weather on the way, the Department of Environment and Science has reminded visitors to State forests that timber cannot be collected and used as firewood.

Senior Ranger Compliance with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), Luke Male said State forests and timber reserves were for sustainable timber production, protection of natural and cultural values and for recreational activities.

“Everything in a State forest is protected by the Forestry Act 1959 which includes timber (dead or alive), plants, native animals and rocks,” Mr Male said.

“Collection of firewood and other timber items in a State forest or timber reserve without a permit, licence or authority is an offence,” he said.

Mr Male said the QPWS would be conducting compliance patrols during the cooler months and people found in possession of firewood or other items, or in the process of cutting up timber for firewood, would receive a fine.

“Our forest officers can currently issue on-the-spot fines to the value of $1,378 and people can be prosecuted in court with a maximum penalty of $137,850 for a first offence or $413,550 for subsequent offences,” he said.

“People unlawfully collecting firewood have a total disregard for the forest and other forest users.

“They are impacting native species through the removal of habitat, introducing weeds and other pests to the environment or damaging waterways.”

Mr Male said officers could seize firewood and timber, conduct vehicle searches and seize vehicles and equipment such as chainsaws used in committing the offence.

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