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Whitsundays man fined for building dam in Proserpine rock-wallaby habitat

October 12, 2023 8:08 am in by
Image: Department of Environment and Science

A Proserpine man has been fined a total of 16,250 dollars for building a dam in the habitat of the endangered Proserpine rock wallaby.

In August 2020, the Department of Environment and Science received a report that the property owner had cleared vegetation and built a dam that encroached on Dryander National Park.

Rangers carried out investigations and confirmed that the encroachment was approximately 2,000 square metres into the national park where Proserpine rock wallabies had been sighted previously.

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The dam also posed a risk of erosion occurring within the park, which could result in excess runoff entering the delicate Great Barrier Reef ecosystem.

He was charged with two offences of taking or using a natural resource in a protected area, and one offence of keeping an unauthorised structure in a protected area.

The man pleaded guilty in the Proserpine Magistrates Court to all three offences last Thursday, October 5.

Dryander National Park is not only home to the endangered Proserpine rock wallaby, but houses 52 flora species that are nationally, state or locally significant and encompasses 55km of coastline that leads straight into the UNESCO World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef marine park.

QPWS Senior Conservation Officer Craig Dunk says property owners neighbouring protected areas are responsible for properly checking the location of their boundaries before carrying out any landscaping or building work.

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“Protected areas are there to ensure the survival of Queensland’s unique biodiversity, and we take damage to these areas very seriously.

“We hope that this significant fine serves as a wake-up call to other neighbours of national parks to do their due diligence and check their boundary lines before clearing any land.”

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