More trees illegally cut down in Reedy Swamp

By James Bennett

Another 10 native trees have been illegally cut down at Reedy Swamp in Shepparton, according to Joel Hoffman.

The Shepparton man believes about 40 trees have been removed from the area in the past five months.

“The response I'm looking for is something to actually be done such as arrest or more patrols around that area,” Mr Hoffman said.

“I've been away but since I've come back I can tell it's still happening; and they're moving closer to town.

“They still do it because they know there are no consequences.”

The fine for illegal tree felling if prosecuted is between $3300 and $8300.

A Parks Victoria spokesperson said sufficient evidence needed to be gathered to issue infringements or charge offenders.

“It takes time and resources, and to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of our investigations details on progress are not made available to the public,” the spokesperson said.

Mr Hoffman said rubbish dumping in the Reedy Swamp area had also increased since the start of October.

He has since requested a meeting with Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed.

“I'm happy to speak with him and can advocate for him by writing to the minister,” she said.

“These are older growth trees — and as I've seen with these trees falling into the Barmah Choke because of environmental flows, they're precious.

“Cutting down large trees is not acceptable and it's worrying to hear this is happening."

To report environmental offences such as damage to vegetation or illegal cutting of firewood, phone Parks Victoria on 131 963 or email [email protected]