The Queensland Government has urged people to resist the temptation to pinch a fresh Christmas tree this year, and to support good jobs in Queensland’s plant and nursery industry instead.
Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Minister for Rural Communities Mark Furner said there were stories every year about people trying to cut down and steal a free Christmas tree, but it wasn’t worth the risk.
“It is a breach of the Forestry Act 1959 (Qld) to remove trees/timber from State forest areas, including State plantation areas, without authorisation,” Mr Furner said.
“On most designated plantation areas, particularly those in the Sunshine Coast region, the right to remove trees or timber lies exclusively with the plantation licensee, HQPlantations.
Mr Furner said the fines for illegally removing trees from a plantation area were significant, and could put a nasty hole in a family’s Christmas or holiday budget.
“Under the Forestry Act, the maximum penalty for the unlawful removal of trees from a plantation area is a fine of $14,375 for a first offence and then up to $28,700 for a subsequent offence,” he said.
“Far better so support the wonderful business people and hard workers supporting our plant and nursery industry by buying a suitable live plant or tree to be the centre of your festive activities.
“Queensland’s nursery industry is a key part of the state’s horticulture industry with a $1billion contribution to the economy and supporting up to 6000 good jobs.
“Let’s all have a merry Christmas and support these great businesses while we’re at it.”