On 4 May 2018 the EPA issued a media release which indicated that it had issued penalty notices to four individuals for allegedly clearing native vegetation on a number of properties at Forbes River, near Port Macquarie, without the relevant approval.

The media release included a statement that “one property was logged without the knowledge or approval of the landholder – effectively stealing the timber.” The EPA withdraws the allegation that the timber was “effectively stolen”. The EPA would like to clarify that it does not allege, or seek to imply, that any of the individuals to whom a penalty notice was issued conspired to or in fact did steal timber from the landowner.