Forestry Corporation fined $33K for failing to keep records, endangering parrots

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Forestry Corporation of NSW (FCNSW) with two penalty notices for allegedly not including the critically endangered Swift Parrot records in planning for operations, and has also delivered three official cautions for an alleged failure by FCNSW to mark-up eucalypt feed trees, an essential source of food for the birds, prior to harvesting.

The EPA became aware in 2019 that records of the critically endangered Swift Parrot were not included by FCNSW in planning NSW south forestry operations in Boyne, Bodalla and Mogo State forests.

It is alleged that FCNSW had records of Swift Parrots in these forests during the planning of the operations but failed to compile and include them in pre-harvesting surveys, as required.

EPA Executive Director of Regional Operations Carmen Dwyer said the failure to consider all available records during the planning phases of forestry harvesting operations could result in environmental harm and potential impacts on threatened species.

“The harvest and haul plans for the three operations confirm the Swift Parrot records were not considered and therefore the marking and retention of eucalypt feed trees did not occur either.

“The Swift Parrot is on the Commonwealth’s critically endangered list and as the state’s environmental regulator, we are focused on protecting species that depend on the forest for their survival.”

Ms Dwyer said the EPA takes forestry offences seriously and investigates all alleged breaches.

“It is our duty to ensure forestry operations adhere to the standards and rules required and the EPA will not hesitate to take action if breaches are identified.”

The EPA has issued FCNSW with a $16,500 penalty for each of the two breaches.

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance including formal warnings, official cautions, licence conditions, notices and directions and prosecutions.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy on the EPA website.