More than 100 investigations into alleged unlicensed waste industry operations have been undertaken in Queensland since the launch of a government crackdown eight months ago.
The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) said the Waste Industry Compliance Investigation Taskforce, which was started work last August, has helped it increase its “compliance response” across the board around illegal waste storage, transport and disposal.
“Under the operation, code named Tora, EHP has investigated 102 cases of allegedly unlicensed waste-business operations, with another 32 investigations still underway,’ said Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles.
In addition, 55 enforcement actions have been taken against waste operators, in accordance with EHP’s enforcement guidelines.
Dr Miles said Operation Tora, and a closer dialogue with industry leaders, was helping support professional and responsible operators in the waste industry, and improving how the industry and the public reports unlicensed operators to investigators.
“The waste industry has expressed ongoing concerns about unlicensed operators who break the law and gain an advantage over responsible operators, by not complying with regulations or paying applicable fees,” Dr Miles said.
“Unregulated waste transport may result in human health and environmental impacts – undermining our waste management regulations’.
Waste Recycling Industry Queensland (WRIQ) CEO Rick Ralph said Operation Tora and the initiatives it supported, such as the joint action with Queensland Police, went a long way towards stamping out illegal waste transport activities and facilities.
“We thank the State Government for committing to the Operation Tora taskforce, which will help industry in its fight to shut these licence loopholes,’ Mr Ralph said.
“WRIQ looks forward to working further with both the police and EHP to make sure illegal waste and recycling operators find it harder to conduct their illicit activities and facilities.”
More details on Operation Tora and its activities and available on the EHP website.