Investigations Unit

The Investigations Unit of the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage is responsible for investigating allegations of breaches of legislation administered by the Department.

The Department administers legislation including the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972, the Land Administration Act 1997, the Planning and Development Act 2005 and the Heritage Act 2018. A full list of legislation administered by the Department can be accessed on the Department's website

Examples of matters investigated include:

  • damage or alteration to Aboriginal sites
  • installation of infrastructure without approval on Crown land
  • damage to vegetation without approval on Crown land
  • development without approval
  • damage to or interference with State Heritage sites
  • vehicles and animals accessing or impacting restricted State land.

Penalties for breaches of this legislation varies and can include significant fines or imprisonment. It is important that we all do our bit to protect the valuable land and heritage in our State. Ensuring compliance with legislation plays a key role in this. 

Reporting a possible offence

You are encouraged to help us investigate offences. If you believe you have information regarding an offence, you can report it by contacting the Department’s Investigations Unit on (08) 6551 8002 or email investigations@dplh.wa.gov.au.

When reporting an offence, please include as much of the following information as possible:

  • date of the incident
  • description of the incident
  • location of the incident - address, GPS coordinates or other identifying information
  • vehicle description and registration number, description of persons involved, and photographs or video
  • your contact details - so that the Investigations Unit can contact you for more information.

The Department’s Enforcement and Prosecution Policy details how enforcement and prosecution decisions are made and the outcomes available to the Department.

Prosecutions

2021 - 2022

Offender Date of Conviction Date of Offence Location Charges Summary Penalty
Dennis Johnston March 2022 July 2021 Woodstock Station Excavation and driving on Aboriginal heritage site. Drove vehicle on and used an excavator to dig a trench on Woodstock Abydos site. $12,050
Spent conviction, cannot identify. March 2022 July 2021 Woodstock Station Excavation and driving on Aboriginal heritage site. Drove vehicle on and was party to excavation of Woodstock Abydos site. $4,050
Castlehow Nominees Pty Ltd, trading as Castlehow Electrical Services March 2022 March 2021 Lower King Excavation of Aboriginal heritage site. Used machinery and installed NBN cabling in section of site. $8,000
Peninsula Downs Pty Ltd March 2022 May 2018 Warner Glen Impact to Aboriginal heritage site Constructed a dam in a tributary of the Blackwood River. $10,000
Spent conviction, cannot identify. February 2022 November 2021 Two Rocks Driving and cutting vegetation. Drove on Western Australia Planning Commission land and used a chainsaw to cut a fallen tree. $1,500
Alan McGuiniss January 2022 May 2021 Witchcliffe Cutting and removing vegetation and driving. Drove on unallocated Crown land, cut a tree, and removed it. $500
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd December 2021 February 2021 Weelamurra Creek  Breach of section 18 consent. Cleared area without complying with requirements. $5,000 x 2 suspended for 12 months.
Daniel Baldwin November 2021 May 2021 Bellevue Rubbish dumping. Deposited a quantity of poly pipe on a Crown reserve. $900
Hoy Charn Chin and Temwood Holdings Pty Ltd October 2021 August 2018 Singleton Clearing vegetation on Crown reserve. Cleared 0.5ha of vegetation near subdivision. Chin $2,000
Temwood $5,000 and $31,000 rehabilitation costs

 

Page reviewed 19 May 2022