NSW developers to pay more than $380 000 for illegal land clearing
8 November 2012
Property developers in western Sydney's Eastern Creek and in Tamworth have agreed to pay $200 000 and $184 000 respectively in 'enforceable undertakings' for illegal land clearing.
Under two separate agreements between the developers and the Australian Government, the money will be used to fund research into the protection and recovery of threatened ecological communities and for on-ground rehabilitation and conservation measures.
An enforceable undertaking is a negotiated outcome used as an alternative to a costly and adversarial court process. It also enables money to be directed to the protection and conservation of the environment.
Sydney-based Goodman Property Services was found to have wrongfully cleared 3.4 hectares of an ecological community at Bungarribee Industrial Estate in Eastern Creek.
They will now contribute $200 000 to help research specific threats affecting the Cumberland Plain Shale Woodlands and Shale-Gravel Transition Forest ecological community, which is listed as critically endangered under national environment law.
Less than 10 per cent of the ecological community of good quality remains, with much of this vegetation occurring in small isolated patches.
Marloelle Pty Ltd, based in Tamworth, was found to have wrongfully cleared 4.5 hectares of land at Windmill Hill Estate, Tamworth. The land was home to an ecological community known as White Box – Yellow Box – Blakely's Red Gum and Derived Native Grasslands.
This ecological community is also listed as critically endangered under national environment law, with less than five per cent of the community left in good condition. The $184 000 will be spent on rehabilitation and management of high quality areas of the ecological community elsewhere on the site, and on research into the community. These undertakings are consistent with previous undertakings accepted by the department. Both developers cooperated with departmental officers throughout the respective investigations.
More information: www.environment.gov.au/epbc/compliance/judgements.html