Liverpool Council has successfully prosecuted three men who were fined tens of thousands of dollars for illegal dumping.
An extensive investigation by Council’s Community Standards Department uncovered evidence of illegal landfill occurring at a property at Luddenham.
The landowner, occupier and transporter were fined $80,000 between them after traces of asbestos were found in all 11 samples taken from the 200 tonnes of illegal landfill.
Council’s Legal Department took charge of the case from the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), tending significant material from the officer’s investigation which included the accused’s admissions, photographs and the positive asbestos test report from the EPA.
Liverpool Local Court Magistrate Roger Prowse ordered that the men now engage specialist workers, including an occupational hygienist, to formulate a plan to remediate the land.
They were also ordered to dispose of the contaminated waste at a specialised waste facility.
The tests conducted on the dumped material, which found particles of asbestos, is of grave concern to the Council.
There are stringent requirements when handling and removing asbestos from buildings and other sites as well as strict requirements for its disposal.
Asbestos removal and disposure should be undertaken by trained professionals.
The long term health effects of exposure to asbestos are well known and can provide severe health problems and can be fatal.
Liverpool Mayor Ned Mannoun said that the outcome of the local court hearing, resulting from council’s successful prosecution, should act as a clear deterrent for would-be dumpers thinking of engaging in this type of behaviour.
“Council is committed to tackling illegal dumping in Liverpool and this case is just one of a number of others we are currently investigating,” Mayor Mannoun said.
“Last year council ramped up its efforts to tackle illegal dumping, spending more than $2.4 million on investigations, collections and disposal.
“We are sending a strong message to those thinking of committing waste crimes: Beware, you will be caught.”
There have been a total of 18 properties investigated by Liverpool Council for illegal dumping, 10 infringement notices issued and fines of up to $128,000 handed out.