A man who turned his rented Sunbury farm into an illegal dumping ground for industrial waste has been fined and ordered to pay Environment Protection Authority Victoria’s (EPA) costs.
The Deverall Road, Sunbury property was rented by Paul Atwell in 2014 for ‘agricultural pursuits, cropping and cattle/sheep grazing.’
It took only months for EPA to receive an anonymous complaint that the real use of the land was for illegal dumping. When officers investigated, they found 20 piles of waste containing various materials including soil, brick, tiling, aluminium, plastics, treated wood and concrete.
Orders to clean up the waste went ignored resulting in Mr Atwell’s prosecution at Broadmeadows Court on 18 January 2018 and the resulting $25,000 fine as well as $8,000 in EPA costs.
“Illegal dumping costs Victorians $30 million a year and EPA is confronting it and all those involved in the creation, movement and receipt of illegal waste, wherever possible,” said EPA CEO Nial Finegan.
“Earlier this year EPA conducted a blitz on skip bin hire companies as we crack down on the illegal receipt of waste that is then, too often, dumped in creeks and parks to avoid paying the appropriate disposal fees.
The Victorian Government has committed $6.3 million over three years (2015–18) to support EPA’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce program.
“This gives EPA the resources and mandate to reduce the risks to the environment from illegal waste management and to create a more level playing field for those in the waste industry who abide by the rules,” said Mr Finegan.