Where’s your firewood from?
Parks Victoria and the Conservation Regulator are urging people purchasing firewood this year to think before they buy, in an effort to help stop illegal firewood operations.
Each year Victorians are caught unintentionally buying illegally sourced firewood, which can lead to loss of wildlife habitat such as hollow logs and dead trees.
Parks Victoria senior manager enforcement and regulatory services Mark Breguet said removing firewood illegally had impacts for generations.
“It is critical for the protection of these areas and the species that rely upon timber for habitat, that purchasers of firewood ensure it is legally sourced,” he said.
The two organisations urge those buying firewood to ask the seller where the wood came from, ask why the wood may be cheaper than normal and to ask for a receipt.
The Conservation Regulator targets those suspected of unlawfully collecting and selling firewood from public land.
Offenders found cutting or taking over two cubic metres of fallen or felled trees from Crown land can be fined a maximum of $9087 and/or one year imprisonment.
They can also be fined up to $9,087 for wildlife habitat destruction, while vehicles and equipment such as chainsaws or trailers can be seized and forfeited upon conviction.
Conservation Regulator director of regulatory operations Ash Bunce said it was asking the community to help catch people doing the wrong thing.
“If the firewood seems relatively cheap compared to other local sellers or the seller can’t tell you where the wood is from, it could be because it has been obtained illegally, and most likely from public land such as national parks or state forests,” he said.
Firewood can be collected for personal use only from specified areas and cannot be sold to others.
Residents are also restricted to only collecting wood from public areas during the autumn firewood season from March 1 to June 30 and the spring firewood season, from September 1 to November 30.
For more information of specific locations where residents can collect wood, as well as other regulations governing collection, visit https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/firewood-collection-in-your-region
Financial support is available to those relying on firewood for heating or cooking; check for eligibility at https://www.ffm.vic.gov.au/firewood/energy-concession-and-support