Redland City Council has successfully prosecuted a Queensland company for the illegal clearing of approximately 12,200 square meters of protected vegetation.
The vegetation was subject to a Vegetation Protection Order under Local Law 6 and to an Open Space zoning.
The Cleveland Magistrate Court has fined Corgold Pty Ltd $21,000 plus costs for the offence that occurred in May this year.
Council’s court submission highlighted the fact that the defendant was previously informed by Council not to clear the vegetation without an approval.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the successful prosecution and the Court decision was an important reminder that all members of the community, whether individuals or businesses, need to follow the law and due process.
“It is essential that protected vegetation identified as having broad value for the community remains protected against wilful damage.
“The Magistrate Court judgement should send a clear message about Council’s willingness to prosecute environmental offences such as this” Cr Williams said.
A revegetation order will now be issued to Corgold Pty Ltd requiring the replanting of vegetation on the cleared land to make good the damage.
The court heard evidence that a bulldozer was used to damage predominately native vegetation on the property at 67-85 Kinross Rd Thornlands that included species of brushbox, melaleuca and eucalypts.
The cleared site was within a Bushland Habitat Overlay for an area zoned Open Space as part of the adopted Kinross Road Structure Plan area in the Redlands Planning Scheme.
The area was also a designated Enhancement Corridor and part of the koala habitat linkage in the area.