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Media Release
Prosecution for Illegal Burial of Waste

27 Apr 2017

The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has welcomed a decision by the Darwin Local Court to fine the Breakthrough Group (NQ) Pty Ltd $65,000 plus victims levies after the demolition company was convicted for two offences under the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act.

Breakthrough pleaded guilty to one count of polluting the environment, resulting in material environmental harm under s83(4) of the Act and one count of failing to comply with lawful requirements of an authorised officer under s76(c) of the Act, when the matter was heard in Court on Monday, 24 April 2017.

The NT EPA brought proceedings against the company after an investigation found evidence supporting claims it had transported housing demolition waste to a Humpty Doo property it did not own and illegally buried it there in 2015.

Breakthrough also failed to comply with an authorised officer’s direction to clean up the buried waste.

NT EPA Chairman Dr Paul Vogel welcomed the Court’s verdict, saying the matter serves as a reminder to the community that allegations of illegal dumping will be fully investigated where evidence supports it.

“Anyone thinking that illegally dumping material is an easy and risk free way to save money is wrong,” Dr Vogel said.

“The Court has imposed significant penalties and required the polluter to clean up and dispose of the wastes correctly so it’s turned out to be a very costly lesson for those involved.

“I’d urge anyone who sees or suspects illegal dumping of burial of wastes, or any other environmental concerns to take photographs if possible and report issues to the NT EPA Pollution hotline, either online at www.ntepa.nt.gov.au or by calling 1800 064 567, as soon as you can after witnessing the incident.

“Illegal dumping can pose significant environmental problems and visually impacts on the beauty of the Territory and lifestyle that Territorians enjoy.”

Media Contact – Department of Environment and Natural Resources – 0437 915 366