Shire Wins Environmental Stand

Magistrate Rules in Shire's Favour 

A magistrate has ruled in favour of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River in a prosecution for an unauthorised development which resulted in the illegal clearing of native bush which includes the rare and endangered flora species, Lambertia Orbifolia. 

The Shire alleged owners of Lot 449 Milyeannup Coast Rd, Scott River did not seek relevant approvals before undertaking the works in early 2022 and therefore the clearing was illegal.   Four separate areas of land were cleared, with a combined size of approximately 16 hectares - the equivalent of 9 Optus Stadiums.

The case, which was heard over 5 days in March this year, was adjourned until 26 June when the magistrate handed down his ruling which found Blue Whale Farm Plantation Pty Ltd guilty of the charge of commencing a development without an approval. 

Shire President, Julia Meldrum, said the prosecution demonstrates the Shire’s ongoing commitment to the protecting the environment.

“Our beautiful, natural environment is a major part of what makes Augusta-Margaret River such a special place, and preserving the biodiversity of the region is important to our community,” she said.

“There are no winners when it comes to the destruction of the environment, and on behalf of our community we wanted to make a stand.  While the result won’t change what has happened, we believe the ruling speaks to the importance of protecting vulnerable ecology.”

Julia said rules and regulations are in place to make sure any changes or developments on land is done safely and considers the environment, and how it might affect others in the area.

“One of the ways the Shire works to protect the environment is through our building development approval processes and landowners need to ensure they have secured the correct approvals before commencing any work on any property in the shire." 

“In this situation flouting the rules has caused devastating destruction of extremely rare flora.” 

Sentencing is expected to take place later this month. 

03 Jul 2024 Topic Type
General News
Scott River
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