A MARKET gardener has been fined $22,000 after being convicted in Joondalup Magistrates Court for illegally clearing 7500sq m of native vegetation at a Carabooda property.
Mick Monte, of Hocking, was fined $22,000 and ordered to pay $2000 in costs after he cleared the land without seeking approvals from the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
The department also refused a retrospective application to clear the land as the native vegetation cleared was habitat to indigenous fauna, with the clearing having potential to impact a threatened ecological community.
Mr Monte said “I disagree with the decision 100 per cent”.
“They should be proud I’ve grown so many vegies and have been awarded for feeding the people of Perth,” he said.
The conviction marks the second for Mr Monte who was found guilty of a similar offence in 2012 and fined $15,000.
Department compliance and enforcement executive director Stuart Cowie said the court outcome was appropriate and sent a strong message against illegal clearing.
“Mr Monte wilfully and deliberately cleared vegetation for a commercial purpose, knowing that he was not permitted to do so,” he said.
“The department is committed to ensuring clearing is done legally, and in line with appropriate regulations, and will continue to take action when appropriate against those with disregard for the law.”