Search archive

Search Archive

NSW EPA holds environmental offenders to account with the Courts imposing over $3.5 million in penalties in 15 months


Source: NSW EPA

The NSW Environment Protection Authority’s tough stance against those that break environmental laws resulted in a record in financial penalties being imposed in the last financial year.  

EPA CEO and Chair Barry Buffier said those that breached environmental laws, failed to meet the expectations of the community and the EPA and consequently paid a high price.  

“Last financial year (2016-17) the EPA completed 103 prosecutions with a record $2,448,455 in financial penalties being imposed by the Courts,” Mr Buffier said.  

“The EPA has an exceptional prosecution record, this includes a historical success rate of greater than 95% in its prosecutions.”  

Also in the last financial year, the EPA issued 261 penalty notices with about $1.9 million in penalties being imposed. (This excludes Hey Tosser and motor vehicle penalty notices).  

Some notable prosecutions in the last financial year;

  • Fines totalling $390,000 were imposed on businessman Phillip Foxman and his two companies for waste offences
  • Financial penalties of $360,000 were imposed on Custom Chemicals Pty Ltd for discharging a mix of chemicals into a pond at the rear of the premises.
  • Fines of $460,000 were imposed on Dyno Nobel for pollution of waters and for breaching a licence condition.
  • Financial penalties of $400,000 were imposed on Caltex Australia Petroleum Pty Ltd for negligently contributing to conditions that gave rise to a substance escaping in a manner that harmed or was likely to harm the environment.  

Mr Buffier said the EPA’s efforts to bring those that breach their environmental obligations to account has continued.  

“So far, this financial year (as at 12 October 2017) the EPA has completed more than 20 prosecutions, with over $1.29 million in financial penalties being imposed.”  

This includes the first NSW environmental prosecution where financial penalties imposed totalled over a million dollars. This was in the prosecution of Clarence Colliery Pty Ltd for two offences, one brought by the EPA and the other brought by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, after a large amount of coal material escaped from a coal storage area, causing significant impacts on the Wollangambe River and the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains National Park.

Commercial fishing vessel fined for diesel discharge at Hobart Port


The master and operator of a commercial fishing vessel were fined a total of $45,000 plus court costs in the Hobart Magistrates Court today for the unlawful discharge of diesel into the River Derwent in November 2015.  

Australian Longline Pty Ltd was prosecuted under the Pollution of Waters by Oil and Noxious Substances Act 1987 for discharging diesel into State waters.  

The Director of the Environment Protection Authority (EPA), Mr Wes Ford said that he welcomed the Magistrate’s decision and hoped that the fine, which is the largest single penalty of its kind imposed in Tasmania to date, would encourage people to take greater care in preventing such pollution incidents.

  “The significant sentencing today sends a clear message that polluting the environment – under any circumstances – is unacceptable and that action will be taken to prosecute offenders,” said Mr Ford.  

“It serves as an important reminder to the commercial fishing industry, and the community, that people must be vigilant and understand the law regarding environmental pollution,” he said.  

Approximately 400L of diesel fuel was accidentally discharged from the vessel ‘Janas’, during refuelling in Hobart Port at Macquarie Wharf No 3 on 5 November 2015. The vessel is operated by Australian Longline for commercial fishing operations.  

The incident occurred due to human error when the Chief Engineer failed to check a fuel valve and the crew failed to ensure that a bung in the ‘save all’ was in place during the refuelling. The diesel spill extended for about 3-400m from the vessel, and no environmental harm was recorded as a result.  

Magistrate Cooper acknowledged that the Janas crew responded promptly to the incident and cooperated with the investigation. In sentencing, he also acknowledged that both the company and the master had been charged and were required to pay court costs in addition to the fine.

2018 AELERT Conference


Is being right enough?

Abstract submission deadline
16 October 2017


The response to the Call for Abstracts for the 2018 AELERT Conference has been encouraging, with over 20 submissions received so far. 

Do not miss this opportunity to share your knowledge, research and projects with the wider regulation community and be a part of the 2018 AELERT Conference.

The Conference aims to strike a balance between technical and operational topics and broader policy and strategic discussions.
The conference program will include presentations from keynote and invited speakers, in addition to those presentations selected through the
Call for Abstracts process.

Presentations are not the only way your thinking can are shared, with some
abstracts to be selected to be displayed in the break-out areas as posters.

We encourage you to submit an abstract for an oral presentation or poster.

Learn more by visiting the Conference Pages