The department overseen by Energy Minister Angus Taylor is investigating his brother over allegations of illegal land clearing, it emerged in Senate estimates on Monday.
Documents produced by the Greens also purported to show Mr Taylor is a shareholder in the company at the centre of the investigation. However, officials from the Department of the Environment and Energy said he had not been briefed on the investigation.
Under questioning by Greens senator Janet Rice, the department’s chief compliance officer Monica Collins confirmed the department was investigating potentially illegal breaches relating to a 30-hectare paddock sprayed with herbicide. The paddock, at a property in southern NSW, allegedly contained native temperate grasses – considered an endangered ecological community under federal environment laws.
Officials declined to discuss the specifics of the investigation. But they confirmed that Jam Land Pty Ltd was the company at the centre of the investigations, and Richard Taylor, the brother of the minister, was a director of the company.