$56k fine for unsafe asbestos

A Para Hills West skip bin and demolition company has been fined more than $56,000 for the illegal processing of building waste, including asbestos.

Destiny Contracting Pty Ltd and DeJay Contracting Pty Ltd pleaded guilty in the Environment, Resources and Development Court to jointly undertaking a “prescribed activity of environmental significance” without a licence in September and November 2017. The $56,361 impost was a “record fine” for that offence, according to the Environment Protection Authority.

The EPA’s investigations manager Stephen Barry said the 1415 Main North Rd site was used to sort commercial quantities of building waste, including storing asbestos, without regulation or authorisation. “Our investigators undertook an intelligence-led investigation of the site and operators involved in the illegal receipt and sorting of waste at the site,” Mr Barry said.

“Whilst inspecting a shed, investigators also found several bags of varying amounts of asbestos-containing materials, with some of those bags not sealed.” Mr Barry said though the operators had since improved operations to meet regulation requirements, and had been granted a licence for the site, the previous risks to the local community were unacceptable. “Unauthorised and unregulated storage and sorting of any waste in built-up areas poses multiple risks to public safety, and when asbestos is part of this unauthorised process, the risk to public safety is substantial,” he said.

“This is a timely reminder that those undertaking illegal activity in the waste sector will be identified, and the consequences of doing so are significant.”

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