Polluters Beware: NSW Has Australia's Toughest Fines

Polluters Beware: NSW Has Australia's Toughest Fines

Member for Port Macquarie, Leslie Williams today welcomed the arrival of the country’s toughest fines for environmental crimes, with tenfold increases in on-the-spot fines coming into effect.

Mrs Williams said the new penalties introduced by the NSW Government will give the Environment Protection Authority a powerful new tool to enforce laws against polluters who fail to do the right thing.

“These new penalties send a clear message: if you pollute, you’ll pay.

“The NSW Government is serious about giving the EPA a suite of effective enforcement tools to protect our environment and our community,” Mrs Williams said.

For these 10 most serious offences, amounts for penalty notices (on-the-spot fines) issued by the EPA will increase from $1,500 to $15,000 for corporations; and $750 to $7,500 for individuals.

“For another 19 penalty notice offences, penalty amounts will increase to $8,000 for a corporation and $4,000 for individuals,” Mrs Williams said.

Offenders are already on notice that they may be sentenced to up to 7 years in jail or be fined up to $5 million.
Environment Minister Rob Stokes said that the introduction of increased fines will provide the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) with greater regulatory powers to tackle environmental crime.

“These changes equate to a ten-fold increase in fine amounts for serious environmental offences. A penalty of up to $15,000 can now be issued by the EPA for 10 offences such as, pollution of water, illegal disposal of asbestos or hazardous waste and operating without a licence.

“These changes better reflect the community’s expectations and shift the power back in favour of the regulator rather than the polluter.

The EPA has written to all licensees, local councils and other government agencies that issue penalty notices informing them of these increases and has discussed these changes with industries at various forums.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools and details about the penalty notice increases, visit www.epa.nsw.gov.au

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