Sawmill fined $46,000 for excess milling
A MITCHELL sawmill has come under fire after breaching environmental activity.
HAB Timber came before the Roma Magistrates Court on Wednesday and was charged with three counts of carrying out environmentally relevant activity without authority and fined $46,500 and a further $2274 for legal and investigation costs.
Department of Environmental Science prosecutor Kelly Pemberton said HAB Timber had exceeded the 5000 tonnes of timber threshold per year and had milled around 30,000 tonnes over three years.
Magistrate Jim Blanch said the Department of Environmental Science acknowledged that although the offence was serious, there was no actual harm to the environment.
"The defendant avoided paying annual fees over the sum of $30,022 over a three-year period,” Mr Blanch said.
The defendant purchased the sawmill at Mitchell in 2014 and commenced milling around the same time.
"The defendant received a letter from the Maranoa Regional Council advising the defendant of the milling practices and if they reach or exceed 5000 tonnes per annum they are required to pay,” Mr Blanch said.
"They were further followed up with letters from the Department of Environmental Science until responses were received from the defendant's solicitors.
"It is noted that the defendant is a small business and any fine will have a bigger impact on the business.”
No conviction was recorded.