Secret tour exposes illegal waste dumps

Issue 

Secret tour exposes illegal waste dumps

By Bill Mason

BRISBANE — A late-night tour of illegal waste dumps here has given Queensland Greens convener Drew Hutton the information he needs to expose the racket of organised environmental crime in this state.

The tour, by a former tanker driver from one of the companies which deliver liquid waste to south-east Queensland's only legal waste dump, Willawong, confirmed a pattern of action which had led Hutton to pressure the Criminal Justice Commission into an inquiry into the dumping scandal.

The driver "showed me places where tanker loads of waste were just tipped into the drains. They ranged from storm water drains to the sewage outlets outside fast food stores", Hutton told the October 23-24 Australian.

"He confirmed this wasn't just an occasional incident but was a well-established practice that involved authorities not enforcing the law and other authorities tipping off the dumpers when inspections were likely."

Leaked draft reports of new environmental legislation planned by the state government indicate possible jail sentences for illegal dumpers as part of an overall plan to tackle the scandal.

The reports admit that present regulations controlling waste disposal are completely inadequate.