The Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority (NT EPA) welcomes the decision by Darwin Local Court Judge Alan Woodcock to convict and fine a property developer for serious breaches of the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998.
Judge Woodcock found that local property developer, Michael Adrian Anthony and his company DWD Project Pty Ltd intentionally contravened or intentionally failed to comply with Pollution Abatement Notices (PANs) that were issued to them.
The purpose of the PANs were for the defendants to remove approximately 15,000 tonnes of demolition and construction waste and other contaminants they had dumped on land and into Darwin Harbour.
The defendants were convicted and fined a total of $300,000. The defendants were also ordered to pay victims levies and some of the NT EPA’s legal costs. To date this is the largest fine ever handed down in the Local Court for contraventions of the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998.
The NT EPA issued businessman Michael Adrian Anthony and his company DWD Project PTY LTD with the PANs in June 2020, in accordance with the Waste Management and Pollution Control Act 1998, requiring him to stop illegally dumping construction and demolition waste and contaminants on his land, on Crown Land and also into Darwin Harbour.
The waste material and contaminants included asbestos, timber, concrete and PFAS contaminated soils.
During the hearing, Judge Alan Woodcock said it was a clear cut case on the evidence that the Defendant had refused to comply with the Notice.
“Having gone through the Act, I am satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the notice was authorised, and issued by an appropriate Delegate,” Judge Woodcock said.
“It was served on the Defendant on 3 June last year and the particulars are made out as charged. Despite exhaustive efforts, detailed consultation with the Defendants, great efforts to educate and assist, they have refused to do so.
“There is a clear election by the Defendant, despite all of the NT EPA’s efforts, not to comply.”
Quotes by Peter Vasel, Director of Environmental Operations:
“Our position is that this incident was totally avoidable had the company and its sole director complied with accepted industry standards for the disposal and recycling of construction and demolition waste.
“It is also a reminder to the broader community that everyone has an obligation to comply with NT’s environmental laws and matters brought to our attention will be investigated.”
Anyone with information about any pollution incidents is reminded to contact the NT EPA Pollution Hotline on 1800 064 567 so that they can be investigated and appropriate action taken to prevent harm to the environment.