Destruction of native vegetation comes with high price tag

Melton Council Civic Centre (Damjan Janevski) 301157_01

A person is more than $200,000 out of pocket after Melton City Council successfully prosecuted them for destroying native vegetation.

The accused was convicted and fined $120,000 on one charge and fined $30,000 on the other charge at a hearing at the Sunshine Magistrate’s Court on 11 June.

They were also ordered to pay council’s legal costs of $60,000.

Director city futures at Melton City Council, Sam Romaszko, said the council took these types of matters very seriously.

“Council commenced a criminal prosecution following the illegal destruction of native vegetation within the City of Melton, in contravention of the Melton Planning Scheme,” he said.

“Council intervened immediately after it became aware unauthorised work was being carried out on environmentally protected grasslands, to stop further destruction occurring.

“As the responsible enforcement agency, Melton City Council will continue to investigate any destruction of native vegetation within the municipality that breaches the Melton Planning Scheme, and when appropriate to do so, commence legal proceedings for this unlawful conduct.”