Dr MEHREEN FARUQI (14:48): My question without notice is directed to the Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts, representing the Minister for the Environment. I have received information that unauthorised land clearing and burning have been taking place on a property close to Black Mountain Creek Road, Maules Creek. Is the Government aware of this? How much land has been cleared since January this year and what action is the Government taking?
The Hon. DON HARWIN (Minister for Resources, Minister for Energy and Utilities, and Minister for the Arts) (14:49): I can provide some information to the member which I hope assists her. An incident was reported to the environment line via email on 14 February 2018 relating to land clearing on a property named Yamba, close to Black Mountain Creek Road, Maules Creek, and backing onto a property named Wando. There were two further incidents with slightly different addresses, but related to the clearing, that were also reported via the environment line at Yamba, Wave Hill Road, Maules Creek, and at Timor Mountain. The report was received from a local conservation group, the Wando Conservation and Cultural Centre. The incident was assigned to the Office of Environment and Heritage [OEH] for investigation under the Local Land Services Act 2013.
An update was provided to the informant by OEH on 25 May 2018. I am advised that notes from the case management system say, “Informant contacted and informed that an investigation is currently underway in relation to the matter and no further details were available to be provided whilst the incident was being investigated. The informant stated that she was happy the matter was being further investigated and requested no further information.” It concludes, “For record purposes only.” That was the file note in the case management system. On 5 June 2018, relatively recently, the informant contacted the environment line via email requesting further information. I am sure that will be dealt with as soon as possible in the same way as the last request for information was supplied.