Inquiry into toxic waste scandal
By Bill Mason
BRISBANE — The Criminal Justice Commission is to launch a public inquiry into large-scale corruption involving illegal dumping of toxic waste in south-east Queensland.
The public hearings, to be held in October, follow a widespread probe by CJC officers, bringing together 70,000 documents and interviews with 150 witnesses.
Following revelations in the Sunday Mail newspaper in February and a complaint by Queensland Greens convener Drew Hutton to the CJC, investigations have pointed to pay-offs to public servants and standover tactics used against public officials and waste disposal company employees to allow the multimillion-dollar racket to operate.
Links to organised crime have been alleged.
The scam is reported to involve dumping toxic materials, including grease trap contents and oils, into sewers, stormwater drains and even vacant allotments. This avoids the payment of fees at legal disposal points.
Drew Hutton has called for people to come forward with evidence to the CJC inquiry. He also wants the inquiry expanded to cover the whole of Queensland.