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Illegal Dumping NSW

car and dumping

The EPA diligently upholds stringent regulations against illegal dumping, aiming to impose substantial penalties on offenders for their potential impact on human health and the environment. This serves as a deterrent against future instances of illegal dumping. Local Councils keep a diligent lookout for such offences in NSW.


In New South Wales, the key legislation governing illegal dumping is the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act). This comprehensive law offers a graded system of fines and penalties for various illegal dumping offences. Among the provisions frequently utilised by the EPA to control illegal dumping are sections 143 and 144 of the POEO Act.

What Is Considered 'Illegal Dumping'?

Sections 143 and 144 of the POEO Act pertain to the illegal transportation, acceptance, and disposal of waste. They specify that individuals who are owners, transporters, or recipients of waste, and those who permit waste to be received, are engaging in criminal activities. Additionally, it’s important to highlight that if the dumped waste leads to land or water pollution, this constitutes an offence, and a fine of S120 applies for water pollution.

There are various penalties for illegal dumping in NSW. They are as follows;


Wilful or negligent disposal of waste causing actual or likely harm to the environment:


  • Maximum penalty for an individual: $1,000,000 and/or 7-year prison sentence for wilful offences; $500,000 and/or 4-year prison sentence for negligent offences.
  • Maximum penalty for a corporation: $5,000,000 for wilful offences; $2,000,000 for negligent offences.

Strict liability waste dumping offences:


  • Maximum penalty for an individual: $250,000, and for continuing offences, an additional daily penalty of $60,000.
  • Maximum penalty for a corporation: $1,000,000, and for continuing offences, an additional daily penalty of $120,000.

On-the-spot fines:


  • Spot fine Individuals: $7,500 if issued by the EPA ($4,000 otherwise).
  • Corporations: $15,000 if issued by the EPA ($8,000 otherwise).

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What to do if You Received an Illegal Dumping Fine?

If you have received an illegal dumping fine in New South Wales, there are certain steps you can take to address the situation. Here’s what you should do:


Review the fine details


Carefully read the fine notice to understand the specific offence you are accused of, the amount of the fine, and the due date for payment.


Gather information


Collect any relevant evidence or documentation that might support your case to dispute the fine. This could include photographs of the illegally dumped waste, witness statements, or any other evidence that proves your innocence or casts doubt on the validity of the fine.


Check for errors


Make sure there are no errors or inaccuracies on the fine notice. If you believe there is a mistake, make a detailed note of this.


Understand the fine options


In NSW, you generally have three options when dealing with a fine: pay the fine, request a review, or elect to have the matter heard in court.


Pay the fine


If you believe you are guilty of the offence and don’t wish to contest it, you can pay the fine by the due date. This will usually involve following the payment instructions provided on the fine notice.


Request a Review


If you believe the fine is unjustified or you have grounds to dispute it, you can request a review of the fine. You can do this online through the NSW Revenue website or by contacting the issuing authority directly. Provide any evidence or information that supports your case during the review process.


Elect to have the matter heard in court


If you disagree with the outcome of the review or prefer to have the matter decided by a court, you can choose to have the case heard before a magistrate in court. Be aware that this option may involve legal proceedings and potential additional costs.


Seek Legal Advice


If you are unsure about your options or need assistance in dealing with the fine, consider seeking legal advice from our criminal lawyers in Parramatta.


Remember to act promptly, as there are deadlines for requesting a review or electing to have the matter heard in court.


Ignoring the fine or missing the payment deadline may result in further penalties or legal consequences. For repeat offenders of dumping rubbish could result in higher penalties.

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