Damage done to marine plants at Scooter Farms in Maroochy River.
Damage done to marine plants at Scooter Farms in Maroochy River. Contributed

Clear message sent by $29,000 fine for plant damage cover-up

THE Minister for Fisheries has praised the tough penalty imposed on a Sunshine Coast company that destroyed 620sq m of marine plants in an indigenously significant area.

Scooter Farms, adjacent to Boggy Creek on River Rd, Maroochy River, was fined more than $29,000 after the director Scott Dwan ordered building materials dumped on the site to be covered in soil.

As a result, common reed and rusty sedge were killed in the area which plays a part in the Maroochy River Dreamtime story.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said the fines imposed sent a clear message that the wilful damage of marine plants and the rights of traditional owners would not be tolerated.

"Queensland is blessed with a highly diverse range of marine plant species and a rich indigenous cultural heritage neither of which should be taken for granted or abused.

"Effectively managing and protecting all marine plants is vital in ensuring sustainable fish habitats and fisheries production whilst preserving precious links to ancient stories and traditions helps maintain indigenous cultural identity for future generations."