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Protection for the Coral Sea expanded


Regulatory Area: Biodiversity, marine Jurisdiction: Australia

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has received international endorsement to extend the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). The International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreed to the arrangement at their May meeting in London, which will add 565, 000 square kilometres to the protected area.

The area is located in the south-west portion of the Coral Sea, and lies within Australia's exclusive economic zone, which is protected under national environmental legislation. 341 species in the coral sea have been listed for conservation, including many endangered and vulnerable species. The area also houses a large number of significant ship wrecks.

The extension of the protected area will include three Associated Protective Measures that aim to protect significant features from damage by international shipping. The measures include a new Area to be Avoided, and the establishment of two supporting two-way routes.

The following video, produced by AMSA in March 2015, details the proposed extension.

For more information, read the official media release from the office of the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

Concreter's disregarded $360 fine turns into a $19,000 penalty


Regulatory Area: Pollution Jurisdiction: South Australia

A South Australian builder has been penalised over $19,000 after he disregarded a clean-up order, and challenged a $360 fine, both issued by the Environment Protection Authority South Australia.

Mr Hanley illegally disposed of concrete by pouring it on private property in Kidman Park, South Australia, in July 2014. The daughter of the landowner observed the concrete being poured and asked him to stop, before taking photos of the incident and calling the police.

EPA SA issued an Environmental Protection Order for Mr Hanley to clean up the property, along with a $360 fine. Mr Hanley did not complete cleaning up the property, and later challenged the fine in court.

The Crown consequently charged Mr Hanley with two offences pursuant to the Environment Protection Act 1993 (SA), and was found guilty on both counts. Mr Hanley chose not to appear in court. On the illegal dumping count, The Judge took Mr Hanley's lack of contrition into account during sentencing, along with the distress and inconvenience caused to the landowner and the landowner's daughter. In Judge Cole's sentencing she called the disposal of waste in this manner as "nothing more or less than a blithe disregard of other people's rights in pursuit of an inexpensive option". Mr Hanley was accordingly penalised $16000. In addition, Mr Hanley was fined $3000 for disregarding an environmental protection order, and ordered to pay the prosecution costs.