City issues warning over illegal clearing of reserves and road verges image

22 September 2017

The City of Albany is warning people who inflict illegal damage to vegetation in reserves that they could face a fine up to $50,000 if they are caught.

Acting Manager City Reserves Jacqui Freeman said the City valued the beauty of its unique region and took pride in looking after Albany’s reserves and open spaces.

“One of the ways the City protects the environment is to put in place local laws that make it illegal to damage flora or to remove plants from a reserve, including road verges, without a permit,” Mrs Freeman said.

“Other activities that are illegal on reserves include planting, pruning vegetation, lighting a fire, excavating or erecting structures. The City doesn’t support removal of any vegetation on City land for views or to assist with Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments.”

Mrs Freeman said the City was taking a firm approach to illegal or unlawful clearing of vegetation in reserves.

“On the spot fines of $100 may be issued to any person who is found to be carrying out illegal activities, and offences for clearing native vegetation can lead to prosecution under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 which has previously achieved penalties of as much as $50,000,” she said.

“In addition the offender could also be liable for the costs for clean-up, which may include revegetation, weed control and ongoing maintenance. The City may also erect large signs while illegally cleared vegetation is re-established, including in areas where the vegetation has been deliberately removed to maintain or improve views.”

In the past the City has successfully identified and fined offenders and recovered remediation costs.