Reporting a native forestry harvesting incident on public land
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) encourages members of the community to report forestry operation incidents that they suspect may have been illegal or pose a threat to the environment.
The online report form below can be used to report suspected incidents about forestry operations in state forests or on other Crown timber land. If you are not sure whether the land is state forest or Crown timber land please phone the EPA on 131 555.
What to report
Unlawful forestry operations include breaches of environmental regulations and forestry licensing conditions. This could involve logging in stream protection zones, causing sediment to wash into streams or damaging habitat in protected areas.
Making your report
The reporting form is designed to make it easy to provide the information the EPA needs to follow up your issue. If your report involves multiple sites or allegations, the form allows for extra documents and photographs to be uploaded at the end. Using the online form is preferred, but incidents can also be reported to the EPA via email to firstname.lastname@example.org (with your concern noted in the subject line) or by phoning 131 555.
It is important that you can provide as much information about the incident as you can. Some of the key information required, and that should be included in each report, includes:
- Incident type e.g. water pollution, threatened species
- Nature and scale of the incident
- Possible harm to the environment or biodiversity
- Timing of the incident e.g. when did it start/stop, is it ongoing
- How and when you become aware of the incident
- Location of the incident e.g. State Forest name and compartment, distance to identifying features, description of location, GPS location
- Who you suspect is responsible for the incident and why
- Any other relevant factors
- Supporting information e.g. photos, maps, reports which provide evidence of the alleged incident
Good information is useful. However, please keep clear of logging operations or other forestry activities involving machinery. Under NSW forestry regulation it is an offence to approach within 100 metres of timber harvesting or hauling equipment being operated in a forestry area or to interfere with timber harvesting or hauling equipment in a forestry area. Contact Forestry Corporation of NSW or the EPA if you are concerned about operations in progress.
What happens after the EPA receives a report
All complaints are registered and acknowledged when received.
The EPA promptly reviews the reports and decides whether there is sufficient evidence or risk of harm to the environment to investigate. Investigative work is prioritised based on the nature of the allegation, the information provided and other investigations in progress.
Complex cases may require multiple inspections, interviews and ongoing investigation. Although this may take some time, it is critical that complex cases are investigated thoroughly and that evidence collected proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the incident was illegal or posed a threat to the environment. Legislation provides up to two years for investigations to be finalised.
Who to contact for more information
For general enquiries contact the EPA Environment Line on 131 555, email the EPA at email@example.com or write to the Principal Manager, Forestry Section, EPA, PO Box A290, Sydney South NSW 1232.
Incident reporting form
Please gather all the information required, including files for uploading, before you start filling in the online form. The form cannot be saved for completing later.
Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are mandatory.
Note: The form can take a few seconds to load, please be patient.
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Page last updated: 05 June 2015