Public land not the place to get your firewood

23 June 2015

With the arrival of the cold weather, Queanbeyan City Council is reminding residents that trees on public land are not able to be cut down and used for firewood.

Under Section 629 of the Local Government Act, a person without authority who is caught removing firewood from a public place such as Council land could be fined $220.

"Recently Council staff have found evidence that someone has attempted to cut down standing trees in a bushland area," Council's Environmental Compliance Officer, Mr Simon Upward said.

"Removing timber from public land without a permit is an illegal activity and Council does not issue any permits for firewood collection.

"People who collect firewood from roadsides and other rural locations may be breaching NSW threatened species laws and can be prosecuted if caught.

"There are a number of wood yards and merchants around Queanbeyan which will sell you firewood."

All trees in Queanbeyan are protected under Council's Tree Preservation Order. The cutting down, topping, lopping, or removal of any tree without written consent of Council and the property owner is prohibited. The Tree Preservation Order covers all urban and non-urban land, all private and public land, and all trees 3m or greater tall or 3m or greater wide.

Obtaining firewood from state forests is also illegal, unless you have received a permit from the Forestry Corporation of NSW. The Corporation has the power to enter, search and seize any items it reasonably suspects have been used to obtain forest products or materials from State forests illegally State Forests and Reserves are under constant surveillance with a network of remote cameras and have ranger patrols. To obtain a firewood permit visit the Forestry Corporation of NSW's website at https://firewood.sf.nsw.gov.au/

"I also encourage the community to continue reporting any suspicious activity to Council on the afterhours number 6298 1234 or contact the NSW Enviroline on 131 555," Mr Upward said.