Environment Minister and Acting Main Roads Minister Steven Miles has said Queensland must shake the title of Australia’s dump capital tag, calling an urgent meeting with waste management stakeholders.
Last week, Mr Miles revealed a roundtable would be hosted on Monday with the Premier and the waste industry, including key players such as Cleanaway, JJ Richards and Visy.
“We will address the extent of the dumping allegations raised this week and explore solutions,” he said.
A joint agency operation between Queensland’s Transport and Main Roads (TMR), Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) and the Queensland Police Service (QPS) will begin targeting heavy vehicles from New South Wales dumping waste in Queensland.
The news comes less than a week after a Four Corners report into illegal dumping, which focused heavily on landfill levy avoidance through interstate waste transportation.
“There is considerable community concern about this issue, and I want to reassure the people of Queensland we will not put up with rogue operators.
“We are taking the discussion directly to industry to identify pathways forward and will use our regulatory powers to crack down on illegal transport of waste.”
Mr Miles said the inspections would take place at pertinent locations along the border.
“The special compliance operation – named Operation TORA – will target unlicensed waste management operators including waste vehicle inspections,” Mr Miles said.
“Operation TORA inspections will involve checks of heavy vehicles, and compliance with regulated waste and other transport requirements.
TMR Compliance Officers will undertake compliance checks of heavy vehicles as follows:
- Fatigue Management (work diaries)
- Mass and dimension
- Vehicle Safety Inspections
- Load restraint
EHP Officers will:
- Undertake waste checks to determine if loads contain general waste or trackable regulated waste
- Cross reference against consignment authority for observed loads of trackable regulated waste
- For loads of regulated trackable waste, compliance checks against Environmental Authority operating conditions for regulated waste transport in Queensland.
Minister Miles said so far, Operation TORA had prompted 207 investigations, resulting in 69 enforcement actions.
“Operation TORA was established in 2015 to crackdown on unlicensed waste management operations in Queensland and address the unfair advantages gained by operating without regulatory oversight and not paying fees,” he said.
“We want to stamp out existing unlicensed waste management operators.”