Media Release: Successful Prosecution for Environmental Harm
13 Nov 2017
The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) has welcomed a decision by the Darwin Local Court to fine a real estate development company for several offences under the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act.
Elias Investments Pty Ltd was ordered to pay $71 200 in fines plus $5300 in court costs and victims levies after pleading guilty to causing material environmental harm contrary to section 83(4) and guilty to contravening or failing to comply with a pollution abatement notice in contravention of section 80(2).
Company director John Christopher Anictomatis also pleaded guilty for contravening or failing to comply with a pollution abatement notice in contravention of section 91(2) of the Act, with no fine or conviction recorded.
NT EPA Chairman Dr Paul Vogel said the successful prosecution relates to noise being generated from the industrial plant room of the Supermarket in Rosebery, Palmerston, with unacceptable impacts on nearby residents. Complaints to the NT EPA were reported by members of the community including those who live nearby.
Dr Vogel said excessive noise falls into the definition of environmental harm and all complaints made to the 1800 064 567 Pollution Hotline are investigated.
A court order was also made to rectify the situation before the plant room is used again.
"Territorians should all be able to enjoy the simple pleasures of sitting outside on their balcony without unacceptable noise levels," Dr Vogel said.
"This company's continual non-compliance with the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act resulted in an unacceptable impact on nearby residents and today's orders made by the Darwin Local Court confirm this.
"The NT EPA believes that environmental offences are serious," Dr Vogel said.
"Where alleged offences cannot be resolved through other means, the NT EPA will take appropriate enforcement action, including prosecution,in order to achieve its environmental objectives.”
"Environmental protection is important to Territorians which is why the Territory has strong laws to protect the environment and human health and amenity."
“The lack of planning and then the subsequent inaction by Elias Investments after becoming aware of the noise and its impacts has resulted in today’s outcome, which should be a reminder to all building owners and developers that their environmental responsibilities start at the planning stage."
“Building owners and developers have a responsibility to ensure compliance with all legislation and regulations within the Northern Territory.”
Media Contact – Department of Environment and Natural Resources – 0437 915 366