The operators of a sand quarry at Doombah, near Evans Head, have been fined $350,000 for operating a quarry without an environment protection licence.
The fine was handed down in the NSW Land and Environment Court, and the owner, Rixa Quarries No.2 Pty Ltd, was also ordered to pay the Environment Protection Authorities legal costs.
Chief Environmental Regulator Mark Gifford said the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 required premises carrying out certain activities to hold an environment protection licence.
‘Licences are important tools that help ensure environmental regulation for industries that have potential to impact on the health of the community and environment,’ Mr Gifford said.
From March to October 2013 the company extracted and processed in excess of 30,000 tonnes of sand for sale from the Doonbah Quarry without holding an environment protection licence as required by the State’s environment protection laws.
In sentencing the company, the Land and Environment Court, accepted the EPA’s assertion that Rixa Quarries had shown a blatant disregard for environment licensing laws, and that a number of failures by the company’s two directors Mr Joseph and Mrs Louise Cauchi suggested the company was likely to reoffend.
Mr Gifford said the EPA does not take these matters lightly, and the decision of the Court served as a warning to all operators to ensure they comply with their licensing requirements.