4WDers banned from pine plantation

THE owners of a private foresty area near Beerwah say unauthorised four-wheel-drives and motorcycles have done so much damage to their road network they have been forced to ban them from the area.

From February 1, HQPlantations will permanently close its private property at Mawhinney Logging Area to the public to address unlawful and inappropriate access and associated damage to the road network and plantation forest.

The Mawhinney Logging Area is freehold land and not within the adjacent Peachester State Forest or managed under the plantation licence from the Queensland Government.

A spokesman for HQPlantations said the road network in Mawhinney LA has been damaged by four-wheel-drives and motor bikes to the extent that it has become unusable for forest operations or fire management.

"Without restricting access, repaired roads are unlikely to remain in good condition,” he said.

"Operational access to the area for fire fighting is critical to ensure proper protection of HQPlantations plantation timber resource, used for local housing construction, and to prevent any fires that might start in Mawhinney LA from spreading to private property or national park.

"Rows of pine trees have been destroyed to make numerous illegal recreation tracks which devalues the timber resource and raises potential environmental issues due to erosion and sediment run-off.”

Mawhinney LA will be closed to all public access including walkers, cyclists and horse riders as well as vehicles unless written permission has been obtained from HQPlantations.

The rest of the Plantation Licence Area (PLA) will continue to be open to the public for lawful recreation unless otherwise indicated for forest operations.

The PLA encompasses those parts of the Beerburrum plantations that are on State Forest tenure licenced to HQPlantations by the Queensland Government for plantation management.

The Plantation Licence does not cover HQPlantations private freehold lands.