21.4 C
Byron Shire
October 24, 2021

Enforcement expected over Broken Head dumping

Latest News

COVID update: two new cases in Lismore and fragments in Byron’s STP

The Northern NSW Local Health District, Lynne Weir, today say that two new cases of COVID-19 have been reported for the District to 8pm, 23 October.

Other News

Northern Rivers Mud Trail this weekend

Local ceramic artists will be opening their studios across the Byron, Ballina and Tweed Shires over the weekend, as part of the Northern Rivers Mud Trail.

Stranded local artist shares stories from India

Vrinda Gleeson prepared for her new exhibition in a small London bedsit where she is living until she can return to her Northern Rivers home.

Slanted and bulldozed

Thanks to Paul Bibby for his (22 September) story, which addresses the outcome of the Council meeting on 16...

One new COVID case in Lismore and Local Health District venues of concerns

Northern NSW Local Health District says there has been one new case of COVID-19 reported for the are to 8pm 17 October.

More artists announced for Bluesfest

Bluesfest is excited to announce that, as NSW opens, they are adding more great artists to their lineup. 

Editorial: Jabby jab jab jabb

As of this week, NSW reached the double vaccination target of 80 per cent!

Truck seen dumping septic waste on Taylors Lake Road, Broken Head. Photo supplied.

Council staff say they are completing an investigation and expect to take enforcement action over an unlawful dumping of waste by a truck on January 31, 2019 at the corner of Broken Head Road and Taylors Lake Road.

After the dumping, staff told Echonetdaily that test results showed the material was not sewage, ‘but it did contain low levels of E Coli’. 

While staff said at the time the material was cleaned up quickly and public health risk and long-term impacts on the environment were minimised, former Greens mayor and NSW MP Jan Barham is pressuring for action by the compliance team, given it has now been four months.

She also claims the dumping was inexplicably omitted from staff’s compliance report.

Barham says Council has powers under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POE Act 1997) to issue an on-the-spot fine.

‘There is evidence; the contractor has admitted liability and the area in question is an environmental protection area and that all provides that a fine can be issued under the POE Act 1997.’

Additionally she highlighted Council’s compliance priorities, which are ‘also able to be enforced here as the dumping meets the recently adopted Compliance Priorities’. 

‘Compliance Priorities 1.1 reads “Developments, works, activities or uses that place people’s lives at immediate risk or are likely to cause a significant risk of environmental harm or pollution”.

Dumped septic waste on Taylors Lake Road, Broken Head. Photo supplied.

Witnessed by locals

‘In this case, if it weren’t for locals who witnessed and documented the dumping and contacted the council and the media, there may have been significant risk to a 7a Wetland area (now defined for E2 under the PP1) and the Aboriginal place, the Ti Tree Lakes, which means it may have also been cause for an additional fine under S120 for water pollution’.

Council staff told Echonetdaily, ‘Under Council’s Enforcement Policy, staff have discretion in deciding what enforcement action is undertaken on the basis of the available evidence and the circumstances of the individual case’.

Staff discretion

‘Options in this circumstance include a prevention notice (when it reasonably suspects that an activity has been or is being carried out in an “environmentally unsatisfactory manner” as defined in section 96 of the POEO Act) to prevent the likelihood of this type of incident happening again, and recovery of costs including clean-up, staff time, and testing’. 

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Mutual obligation or mandatory vax?

There is much being said about the pros and cons of the vaccination. Do we? Don’t we? Must we? Must we not? But the answers...

Christian fundamentals

Robin Harrison’s letter (13 October) made me realise how Christian fundamentals are little known, yet so freely referred to. There are at least three...

A dumb act of STP

Council is stating that breaches of licence conditions, in part, justifies spending $10m on transferring raw sewage from Ocean Shores Sewerage Treatment Plant (OS...

COVID-19 update: 5 new cases in the NNSWLHD

Northern NSW Local Health District, Acting Chief Executive, Lynne Weir, says there were five new cases of COVID-19 reported for the District to 8pm last night, 21 October.