Company fined over clearing, illegal dams

A NSW company has been fined more than $250,000 for building two illegal dams and clearing endangered vegetation next to the Great Lakes Marine Park.

The NSW Land and Environment Court has found Bao Lin Pty Ltd did not obtain approvals for destructive works at Tea Gardens between 2016 and 2020.

About six hectares of endangered swamp sclerophyll forest was cleared or inundated by the illegal activity.

The clearing and dams also affected Station Creek and some of its tributaries joining Bundabah Creek, which is part of the marine park.

In fining the company, Justice John Robson said it had “sought to avoid the regulatory scheme and its beneficial protection of water sources and waterfront land”.

The Natural Resources Access Regulator brought the case and says it should serve as a warning to landholders about what’s at stake if they do the wrong thing.

“What landholders do in and around waterways can have serious negative environmental consequences. That’s why landholders must apply for approval for any works before they start, and follow any conditions of approval,” it says.

“Approvals usually contain conditions to minimise negative impacts, and NRAR is committed to holding landholders to account if they don’t follow the rules, and to prosecuting the most serious breaches.”


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