NSW EPA dou­bles up in court on waste trans­porter cases

Australian Transport News - - CONTENTS -

En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity chalks up two suc­cess­ful waste-trans­porter pros­e­cu­tions in a week, in­clud­ing a jail term for a se­rial as­bestos dumper

“Il­le­gal dump­ing ... is a se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal crime.”

THE NEW SOUTH WALES EN­VI­RON­MENT

PRO­TEC­TION AU­THOR­ITY (EPA) chalked up two suc­cess­ful waste trans­porter pros­e­cu­tions in a week, in­clud­ing a jail term for a se­rial dumper of as­bestos.

Dib Hanna was jailed for three years af­ter plead­ing guilty to one charge of il­le­gal trans­port of waste and four counts of il­le­gal dump­ing of waste in the NSW Land and En­vi­ron­ment Court.

The NSW EPA says Hanna had ad­ver­tised free- clean top soil, clay, crushed bi­tu­men and shale, and the use of an ex­ca­va­tion ma­chine to var­i­ous Syd­ney res­i­dents via a let­ter­box drop.

“Upon be­ing con­tacted by in­no­cent res­i­dents in­ter­ested in re­ceiv­ing the free ma­te­rial, be­tween Oc­to­ber 2015 and Jan­uary 2016, he in­structed truck driv­ers to trans­port and de­posit 461 square me­tres or 461,000kg of waste, in­clud­ing as­bestos waste, at res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties in East Kur­ra­jong, Llandilo and Wal­la­cia.”

The au­thor­ity adds that it had worked with po­lice to have Hanna ex­tra­dited from Vic­to­ria to NSW af­ter he failed to ap­pear in court to an­swer the charges.

“This is the first time a per­son has been ex­tra­dited in re­la­tion to en­vi­ron­men­tal of­fences,” it adds.

Speak­ing about the case, NSW en­vi­ron­ment min­is­ter Gabrielle Up­ton says it was an ap­pro­pri­ate sen­tence for a man who had taken ad­van­tage of in­no­cent peo­ple, “for his own fi­nan­cial ben­e­fit”.

“Il­le­gal dump­ing, es­pe­cially of as­bestos waste, is a se­ri­ous en­vi­ron­men­tal crime and NSW has tough laws to pre­vent it,” she says.

“Any be­hav­iour that fla­grantly puts the health of the com­mu­nity and the en­vi­ron­ment at risk will not be tol­er­ated.”

Hanna will not be el­i­gi­ble for pa­role un­til he serves two years and three months of his sen­tence.

The EPA had an­other win six days af­ter Hanna was sent to jail, with Mathew Lai­son fined $85,000, in­clud­ing costs for pro­vid­ing false in­for­ma­tion about waste dis­posal.

Lai­son, for­merly sole op­er­a­tor of Lai­son Earth­mov­ing & Plant Hire, pro­vided two fake weigh­bridge dock­ets to a sec­ond waste trans­porter.

In wel­com­ing the court’s de­ci­sion, EPA waste com­pli­ance di­rec­tor Greg Sheehy in­sists that “be­ing eva­sive about waste will not get you off the hook”.

“Pro­vid­ing false records about the dis­posal of waste sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­mines the NSW en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tory sys­tem,” Sheehy says.

“It is a crime and this penalty pro­vides a warn­ing to oth­ers that they will not get away with break­ing the law.”

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