As part of a state-wide crackdown on waste regulation, the NSW Government has introduced an Amendment Bill that will double the the penalty for unlawfully transporting or depositing waste where any quantity of asbestos is involved.
The Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Asbestos Waste) Bill 2018 doubles the maximum fine for waste offences involving asbestos from $1 million to $2 million for corporations, and doubles the maximum fine for individuals from $250,000 to $500,000.
Ensuring penalties better reflected the monetary benefit gained from illegal asbestos dumping was one aim of the State’s draft five-year asbestos waste strategy which is currently open for feedback. The draft plan also aims to make legal asbestos dumping cheaper and easier, and considers the possibility of installing GPS tracking on certain waste vehicles.
Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said the Government would also crackdown on rogue construction and demolition waste operators and providing incentives for good behaviour.
“On the spot fines for illegally transporting or disposing of asbestos waste increase tenfold, construction and demolition waste facilities get tougher inspection and handling rules and there’s a new, heavy fine for illegally digging up landfills.”
“It is a top priority that stronger penalties act as a deterrent and that waste facility operators improve the way they manage construction and demolition waste.”
Upton said the reforms followed comprehensive consultation with local councils, waste facility operators, industry bodies and the community.
“Poor practices were identified particularly at a number of facilities handling construction waste. That is why there are now tougher standards and procedures to safeguard the environment and community.”
Under the changes, construction and demolition waste facilities will have tighter inspection controls and constant video monitoring, and must comply with more stringent waste storage rules and provide proof their staff are properly trained.