Saving the Noosa River

Petroleum company caught just in time


The Noosa River is a national treasure, rightfully protected by multiple agencies across local, state and commonwealth governments. However, this didn’t stop United Petroleum from contravening the Environmental Protection Act 1994 and dumping 109 truckloads of soil, including 45 of these at a residential property within 150m of the Noosa River.

With contaminated soil so close to wetlands and high ecological value waterways, two charges of unlawfully disposing of contaminated soil and one charge of unlawfully causing material environmental harm were laid. While the major Australian petroleum company pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2015, they were ultimately found guilty in August 2021. The $75,000 fine and $41,463 in legal and investigation costs were deemed by the Maroochydore Magistrates Court as an important deterrent for all potential polluters.

We celebrate the win while acknowledging the bitter-sweet truth that it took six years to reach this welcome conclusion. The delay has been attributed to the defendants finding various opportunities to stall proceedings with appeals and applications.

It is a frustrating but all-too-common story that while swift resolutions to these matters are critical, they are rarely found. However, what many regulators have yet to fully realise is that a solution to the biggest problems in expediting and strengthening investigations is now possible.

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At Comtrac, we have a deep understanding of the frustration and injustice faced by regulators who are working to build water-tight cases while the sheer nature of the work stacks the odds against them.

Manual handling of investigation processes, evidence and briefs puts cases at risk every single day. Data storage became a solution for a time, but still left the complex heavy lifting to investigators. Cases remained exposed and vulnerable to briefs that are incomplete, incomprehensible and insufficient once court day has arrived.

Comtrac has solved these problems in a single, high-powered, technologically advanced and extremely user-friendly software solution that is designed to complete your brief of evidence on the go. This means environmental regulators finally have the tools they need to build watertight cases that give defendants far less wiggle room than ever before.

Imagine a world where more time can be spent on education and prevention because regulators are smoothly and successfully moving prosecutions through at a rate never seen before. Get in touch with Comtrac today to see how it’s done.

News Story Noosa Soil Dump

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