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.
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News Story Noosa Soil Dump
$75K fine – The original: https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/sunshine-coast/police-courts/united-petroleum-fined-75k-after-sevenyear-case-over-noosa-soil-dump/news-story/4e5f0744a3d27453496833e5fd089699
$75K fine – Readable version: https://www.sunshinecoastnews.com.au/2022/12/23/company-fined-for-dumping-contaminated-soil/