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    Environment
    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Court ruling on contaminant release welcomed

    Environment
    The Honourable Vicky Darling

    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    Court ruling on contaminant release welcomed

    Environment Minister Vicky Darling has welcomed a court decision to fine construction company John Holland $195,000 for releasing contaminants at two coal terminals located along the north Queensland coast.

    John Holland pleaded guilty to seven charges after releasing contaminants while carrying out abrasive blasting works at the Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal near Mackay and Abbot Point Coal Terminal near Bowen.

    Ms Darling said the court ruling was a reminder that companies must operate within the boundaries of the law to protect the environment.

    “All companies have an obligation to comply with Queensland’s environmental laws and Queenslanders have a right to expect that companies fulfill their environmental responsibilities,” Ms Darling said.

    “John Holland failed to contain the contaminants produced during abrasive blasting, and failed to clean up the contaminants after blasting had finished.

    “This resulted in contaminants being released onto land and into water, including the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

    “Investigations by the Department of Environment and Resource Management determined that John Holland Pty Ltd was aware of the compliance issues but did not do enough to prevent and control the breaches.”

    John Holland pleaded guilty to seven charges of contravening a condition of a development approval under the Environmental Protection Act 1994 while carrying out the abrasive blasting at both mines between 4 September 2008 and 20 May 2009.

    The Bowen Magistrates Court also ordered John Holland to pay investigation costs totalling $100,000.

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