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EPA snares pair with a trailer load of trouble

A Ballarat man and one Geelong man have been fined thousands after being nabbed with a trailer load of asbestos, in a team effort involving police, the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) and EPA Victoria.

The case involved a police intercept to allow EPA Southwest Regional Officers to take samples from the load; EPA’s Environmental Crime Branch investigators then worked with DEECA officers to trace the hazardous load back to a residential property in Torquay.

Jason Kilday and Peter Ranton both entered a guilty plea in the Geelong Magistrates Court on charges of causing or allowing the transporting of reportable priority waste without the appropriate EPA registration.

Kilday was fined $4,000 without conviction and ordered to pay $2,086 in court costs to EPA.

Ranton was convicted and fined $2,000. He was also ordered to pay $2,086 in costs.

The charges followed a day in September 2021 when the men were observed removing asbestos from a house in Torquay.

At the time Kilday was advertised on the Jim’s Asbestos Removal website as a licensed asbestos removalist, even though neither he nor Ranton were licensed to do the job.

Police then intercepted the car towing the asbestos in a trailer that was not registered and without the appropriate EPA permission to transport the asbestos. EPA officers took samples to identify the waste and confirmed it was asbestos.

EPA Southwest Regional Manager Carolyn Francis says badly handled asbestos is hazardous to people’s health.

“There is strong regulation of asbestos because it is so common in older buildings, vehicles and other items produced before the hazards were known,” Ms Francis said.

“The licensing of trained removalists, the requirement to have an EPA registration to transport asbestos. and the strong controls on facilities that accept asbestos waste are parts of a system designed to safely remove, transport and dispose of asbestos,” she said.

“In this case, the system designed to protect the community had been bypassed.”

The EPA website has a range of information for businesses and home owners on managing, removing and disposing of asbestos:

Article EPA Victoria


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