Calls on government to increase illegal firewood logging penalties

The sounds of a chainsaw out in the bush in the middle of the night more than likely indicates illegal loggers are at work.
In parliament this past week, local Member for Shepparton District, Suzanna Sheed used her question without notice to alert Minister for Energy, Environment, Climate Change and Solar Homes, Lily D’Ambrosio, that illegal loggers were chopping down trees in Shepparton and Mooroopna for commercial gain.

Ms Sheed called on the Minister to increase penalties for illegal loggers and support rangers in their policing work.

“A number of constituents who live close to the forest in Shepparton and Mooroopna have reported to me that they hear chainsaws being used at all hours of the day and night,” Ms Sheed said in parliament.

Ms Sheed said she was not referring to people stealing firewood for their own use, but much larger organised operations.
Minister D’Ambrosio said, “If there was a broader organised syndicate involved in this (illegal logging), it was something we absolutely want to run to ground.”

The Minister said her department would be initiating a review of firewood, which would include a review into the current penalties’ regime.

“We want to make sure that they are fit for purpose,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Ms Sheed’s question followed community concerns about large scale illegal firewood collection in the areas of Reedy Swamp, Gemmill Swamp and Loch Garry.