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Illegal clearing culprits caught out by City staff

Illegal clearing culprits caught out by City staff
16 February 2023

Two successful prosecutions highlight concerns landowners are illegally clearing in Kwinana.

The City of Kwinana identified illegal clearing in Casuarina and Wandi as part of its work in protecting environmental values and addressing non-compliance.

The City referred a significant amount of clearing conducted after a fire at a property on Thomas Road in Casuarina to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER).

After 18 months of deliberations, DWER imposed a Vegetation Conservation Notice on the property that involved an onerous 10-year program to revegetate the conservation wetland.

A second successful prosecution, conducted by the City, involved clearing in Wandi resulting in a $5000 fine.

Deputy Mayor Peter Feasey said the prosecution outcomes reaffirmed the City of Kwinana’s efforts to protect native vegetation.

“Our staff monitor a database of aerial images known as Intramaps to observe any changes to vegetation levels, in order to identify illegal clearing,” Deputy Mayor Feasey said.

“The environmental outcomes outlined in the Strategic Community Plan include a naturally beautiful environment that is enhanced and protected - specifically to maintain and enhance our beautiful, natural environment through sustainable protection and conservation.

“The City of Kwinana has proven it is holding property owners accountable and is also working to reinforce in writing the legal obligations of property owners regarding land use management in areas where clearing is prohibited,” he said.

The Special Rural zone was created specifically for rural lifestyle living and there are several policies and legislations associated with land purchases to maintain and protect this lifestyle.

The City introduced a new welcome process for property owners who purchase land within the designated Special Rural zone in Kwinana, including a letter to highlight key conditions landowners need to be aware of and adhere to.

“They are invited to contact the City should they wish to undertake any changes, including clearing, to their property to ensure they are meeting the necessary compliance and permissible land usage rules,” Deputy Mayor Feasey said.

“We also advise them that non-compliance could lead to heavy fines,” he said.

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