Probe into asbestos disposal

A CONTRACTOR is being investigated by the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) after attempting to dump asbestos illegally at the Morgan Park Waste Facility.

The Daily News received an anonymous tip-off late last week in relation to the incident, which the Southern Downs Regional Council has also investigated.

It is understood the asbestos was removed from a local building site within the last fortnight, with the contractor not having the required authorisation to transport it.

A council spokeswoman confirmed the asbestos was rejected from the Morgan Park waste facility and “temporarily” stored elsewhere before its lawful disposal.

“Council is charged with investigating waste dumping offences and has dealt with a complaint in this matter,” the spokeswoman said.

“DERM is responsible for tracking asbestos and Workplace Health and Safety are responsible for the worksite.

“Council is satisfied that there has been no danger to the public as the waste was not open and presented no danger to the public. It was wrapped correctly and ultimately disposed of lawfully.”

The council spokeswoman said the material should not have been removed from the original site by anyone other than a registered waste transport operator.

“The offender has been given a verbal warning and it is up to DERM to deal with the enforcement of breaches of the waste tracking provisions of the environmental protection legislation in regard to the unlawful transport of the material,” she said.

“They have been advised that any similar incident would result in council issuing a fine.”

She said the council was also aware of illegal rubbish dumping activities between the Morgan Park waste facility and the Bracker Road roundabout, along with the “ongoing” dumping of tyres in Blake’s Road Stanthorpe.

A DERM spokesman confirmed the department was investigating the Warwick asbestos incident but would not comment further at this time.

The maximum state penalty for infringing asbestos regulations is a $40,000 fine.

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