Great Southern firewood collectors, farmers among those urged to brush up on laws at travelling workshops

Headshot of Sean Van Der Wielen
Sean Van Der WielenGreat Southern Herald
Katanning Landcare officer Ella Maesepp is encouraging community members to attend an information session.
Camera IconKatanning Landcare officer Ella Maesepp is encouraging community members to attend an information session. Credit: Sean Van Der Wielen/Great Southern Herald

Great Southern firewood collectors and landowners are being urged to brush up on their knowledge of State legislation amid concerns they could be inadvertently breaking laws.

Community members in six Great Southern shires have been encouraged to attend a drainage and clearing roadshow next week, with presentations from State Government representatives about WA laws.

Katanning Landcare officer Ella Maesepp said the presentations would provide clear and current information as well as giving residents a chance to ask questions.

“There has been an anecdotal increase in the number of people doing things that don’t comply with the legislation in recent years,” Ms Maesepp said.

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“However, we think very little of it is malicious, with most rising from landholders and community members simply not fully understanding the rules, some of which can be quite confusing.”

The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation will present on native vegetation clearing, including regularly misunderstood exemptions for activities including firewood collection, fenceline clearing or Aboriginal cultural purposes.

Information will be also provided on what circumstances a permit is required to for work.

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will discuss the rules surrounding deep drainage, including the notification of intent process and newer regulations related to on-farm desalination units.

It will be the first time in more than a decade that such a roadshow has been held in the region, with the workshops organised by Katanning and Wagin-Woodanilling Landcare, the Dumbleyung LCDC, Southern DIRT and the Shire of Kent.

The events are being funded by the South West Catchments Council.

“We were really keen to bring the roadshow to our local area to give people an opportunity to seek clarification of the legislation and ask questions in a friendly environment,” Ms Maesepp said.

“By all understanding the rules, which apply right across WA, we can ensure everyone has fair access to resources, our environment is protected and we reduce the risk of local people facing prosecution or fines.”

Six free information sessions will be held in total, with Nyabing, Dumbleyung and Katanning sessions on September 15, and Tambellup, Kojonup and Wagin sessions on September 16.

Contact Ms Maesepp on 9821 4327 or ella@katanninglandcare.org.au.

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