Man cries poor over rubbish clean-up order

A MAN who claimed he could not afford to clean up two huge piles of industrial waste on his Nichols Point property has been fined $6500 and ordered to pay $1500 in costs.

Anthony Ljubicic, 50, pleaded guilty in the Mildura Magistrates’ Court to failing to comply with a clean up notice issued by Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA).

Ljubicic was initially issued with the clean-up notice in July 2015 and was subsequently ordered to remove the dumped rubbish heaps or come up with evidence proving he couldn’t afford to get rid of them.

The Mildura Magistrates’ Court was told in March this year one of the piles of rubbish was 50 metres wide and the estimated cost of cleaning away the scrap metal, broken concrete, asphalt-like material and plastic was between $40,000 and $50,000.

The court was told Ljubicic and his intellectually disabled sister had inherited the Cureton Avenue property from their late father in 2008 and the EPA first found the rubbish heaps during a routine inspection in late 2013.

Ljubicic pleaded guilty of an offence under the Environment Protection Act 1970 (EP Act)for failing to remove a stockpile of industrial waste as ordered by EPA.

EPA north west region manager Dr Scott Pigdon said an environment protection 

officer had given the occupier of the site more than seven months to take action.

“When the EPA officer returned, they found the two large piles of mixed waste were still there – they included broken concrete, asphalt-like material, scrap metal and plastic,” Dr Pigdon said.

“This was not just an unwanted truckload, the piles of waste were roughly half a metre high and covered an area of about 1600 square metres,” he said.

Ljubicic entered a plea of guilty, was convicted and issued with a clean up order under Section 64 of the EP Act.

He now has until June next year to remove all of the industrial waste from the premises and either take it to a facility with an EPA License or local government permit to accept waste of that type, or have the concrete and asphalt-like material crushed in a manner that allows for it to be re-used.

“The clean-up notice is an essential tool used by EPA to ensure that waste is not just dumped, and that it is taken for proper disposal and recycled wherever possible,” Dr Pigdon said.

EPA has urged the public to report suspected pollution to the EPA 24-hour hotline on 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC) or at www.epa.vic.gov.au.

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