Waste operators fined $36,000

Issued: 20 Dec 2021

Two companies conducting a waste disposal operation at Gracemere were fined a total of $36,000 in the Rockhampton Magistrates Court on Tuesday 14 December.

The companies have an environmental authority (EA), issued by the Department of Environment and Science (DES), to dispose of construction and demolition waste at the waste disposal site.

However, the Court was told that on 17 October 2019 and 11 December 2019 the companies contravened the EA’s conditions by disposing of waste other than construction and demolition waste at the site.

This included domestic and other general waste.

One company was charged with two offences of contravening a condition of an EA, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1994. The second company, being the holder of the EA, was charged with two offences of failing to ensure that the first company complied with the conditions of the EA.

The companies were each separately fined $18,000, as well as being ordered to pay a combined total of $2852 in investigation costs and $1500 in legal costs. Convictions were not recorded.

A DES spokesperson said that, as Queensland’s environmental regulator, DES took the issue of illegal waste disposal very seriously.

“The Queensland Government has very specific laws and processes in place to ensure waste is disposed of properly and in a manner that will minimise any environmental impact.

“When waste operators do the wrong thing, DES will take strong action to ensure an appropriate penalty is applied,” the spokesperson said.

See further information on waste management in Queensland, including how to report instances of illegal waste disposal or litter and illegal dumping.