CCL was charged with multiple counts of causing unreasonable odour in contravention of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 between 22 January 2019 and 29 April 2019. The trial was conducted between 25 July and 12 August 2022. CCL pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Magistrate Heidi Watson found CCL guilty on six charges and fined CCL a total $290,000.
A number of witnesses were called by the prosecution including local residents who had been impacted by the odour. There was evidence given that the odour from CCL could be detected up to eight kilometres from its source.
Magistrate Watson said the offending was in the medium range of serious to significant interferences with the comfort, convenience and amenity of 11 residents over a four-month period.
The Court was not satisfied that CCL had demonstrated real and genuine remorse for its offending.
In January 2022, DWER initiated further prosecution action against CCL for six charges of unreasonable odour emissions between January and April 2020.
Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) Executive Director of Compliance and Enforcement, Kelly Faulkner, said the department had received multiple complaints in 2019 to its Pollution Watch Hotline.”
“DWER carried out in excess of 30 odour patrols between January and April 2019 and identified odours during those patrols,” she said.
“DWER would like to thank the local community for providing invaluable information to inform the investigation and for providing evidence to the Court. This highlights the importance of DWER’s Pollution Watch Hotline and for members of the community to report concerns to us.”
“DWER continues to investigate on-going reports of odour in the local community and where appropriate will take further action to address any on-going unreasonable odour impacts.”
“DWER is working with CCL to identify opportunities to further mitigate odourous emissions from their operations including granting approval for CCL to trial an engineering solution to reduce odours.”
The Pollution Watch Hotline is 1300 784 782, the email is email@example.com or a report can be made through Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.