Asbestos in your old home
If you’re considering a major renovation to your old home, or undertaking a complete knockdown rebuild, you will want to consider any asbestos or asbestos contaminated area very carefully. While the legal handling and removal of asbestos does present significant extra costs to your project, any attempt to move or dispose of asbestos and asbestos contaminated materials illegally will see NSW dumpers hit with massively increased fines after changes recently made to NSW government laws.
Asbestos dumpers frustrating Government.
The passing of the new fines on the 22nd of November 2018 is likely in response to ongoing government frustration at the relentless issue of illegal dumping. A quick internet search on the subject will expose recent and organised schemes and dump sites across NSW. On the 29th of August 2018, 2GB reported on a case on the Central Coast involving a well organised scheme involving fake disposal documents and serious fraud. Police began their investigations into the dumping of 17,000 tonnes of asbestos waste after traces were found on a property at Kulnara. Similarly, in September 2018, albeit on a much smaller scale, a dumper was charged for taking contaminated waste onto his property at Helensburgh, south of Sydney.
Budget for asbestos disposal
Due to the prevalence of illegal asbestos dumping and the serious health concerns involved, perhaps there are questions the authorities really should be asking. To start with, are there sufficient legal avenues for the disposal of asbestos given it was once a common and legal building material, and, are the associated costs of using the disposal facilities, reasonable? Regardless of the answer, it is in everyone’s best interest for individuals and organisations to work within the law and budget their projects accordingly. Here at Home Demolitions we make that easy with our realistic quotes and full disclosure of costs and issues related to disposing of asbestos.
Tough Penalties for asbestos dumpers
If the government is to rely on increased fines as their deterrent to illegal dumping of asbestos, it’s important for the public to understand the severity of these new fines. NSW Environment Minister, Gabrielle Upton says, “Illegally dumping asbestos is a serious crime, and we want dumpers to know there are tough penalties for those that flagrantly break the law.” She explains that the maximum fines for illegally, disposing of, recycling or re-using asbestos are as follows:
Fines for individuals have been increased from $22,000 to $500,000.
Fines for corporations have increased from $44,000 to $2,000,000
Maximum court penalties for asbestos related pollution and waste offences has increased to $500,000 for individuals.
Maximum court penalties for asbestos related pollution and waste offences has increased to $2,000,000 for corporations.
Under the new laws, directors and managers can be held liable for offences committed by their companies.
Courts are required to consider the presence of asbestos when determining the magnitude of the penalty.
The increased fines add to the recent tougher handling controls for waste facilities and the tenfold increase of on the spot fines for illegally transporting or disposing of asbestos waste.
What do you think? Will the increases in fines be enough to stop the problem of illegal asbestos dumping, or do you think there’s a better way?