A Mildura man has been fined $6500 and ordered to pay $1500 in costs for failing to comply with a Clean Up Notice issued by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).
The Mildura Magistrates’ Court found Anthony Ljubicic of Nichols Point guilty of an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970, for failing to remove a stockpile of industrial waste as ordered by EPA.
EPA North West Region Manager, Dr Scott Pigdon said an Environment Protection Officer had given the occupier of the site more than seven months to take action.
“When the EPA officer returned, they found the two large piles of mixed waste were still there. They included broken concrete, asphalt-like material, scrap metal and plastic,” Dr Pigdon said.
“This was not just an unwanted truckload, the piles of waste were roughly half a metre high and covered an area of approximately 1600 square metres,” he said.
Ljubicic entered a plea of guilty, was convicted and issued with a clean up order under Section 64 of the EP Act. He now has until 10 June 2019 to remove all of the industrial waste from the premises at Nichols Point, and either take it to a facility with an EPA License or local government permit to accept waste of that type, or have the concrete and asphalt- like material crushed in a manner that allows for it to be re-used.
Mr Ljubicic is liable to further prosecution should he fail to comply with the court-issued order.
“The Clean Up Notice is an essential tool used by EPA to ensure that waste is not just dumped, and that it is taken for proper disposal and recycled wherever possible,” Dr Pigdon said.
“It gives EPA the power to order the removal of waste that will contaminate land, water or air, creating a hazard to people’s health, or in the case of inert waste, the Clean Up Notice can give us the power to stop a property from turning into an unofficial garbage tip,” he said.
“Anyone issued with a Clean Up Notice has the opportunity to do the right thing and avoid a fine, they get a clear finish date and they know the EPA officer will be back to check that it has been done.”
EPA urges members of the public to report suspected pollution to the EPA 24 hour hotline 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or at www.epa.vic.gov.au