A South Australian court has imposed a custodial sentence for the first time under the Environment Protection Act 1993.
Gabriel Paul Ivanyi, of Adelaide suburb Devon Park, faced charges for repeatedly dumping building and construction waste over a two-year period on sites owned by SA Water, the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure.
Mr Ivanyi is the sole director of Adelaide Earth Removal, which offers services on site clean-up, site preparation, rubbish removal, and demolition and concrete removal.
He was previously found guilty in the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court in May 2012 for illegally dumping waste in December 2011. However, despite this conviction, he was captured by covert CCTV cameras illegally dumping building construction waste between December 2012 and May 2013.
The EPA issued Mr Ivanyi with a warrant in April 2013 and he was interviewed by investigating officers, but he continued to illegally dispose of building waste at another site in May 2013.
Last week, after pleading to 12 counts of unlawful disposal of waste and for failing to comply with an Environment Protection Order to clean up the waste, the Environment, Resources and Development Court sentenced Mr Ivanyi to a prison term of four months and two weeks suspended for two years. He was also ordered to pay $44,000 in clean-up costs and $160 for a Victims of Crime Levy.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Jack Costello said that the nature of this offending was too serious to avoid a prison sentence.
EPA Manager Investigations & Tactical Support, Stephen Barry, said that Mr Ivanyi demonstrated a blatant disregard for the Environment Protection Act, with a significant cost to the environment, waste disposal business and the general amenity of the dumping sites.
“This is a landmark case with the first custodial sentence delivered in South Australia for an
environmental offence of this nature and the culmination of a significant protracted investigation by the EPA,” Mr Barry said.
“These offences also undermined legitimate competitors in the salvage and disposal industry by undercutting their costs through unlawful disposal methods.”