News

Orica fined for a string of environmental offences

Aerial photo of Gladstone's Orica facility. Photo: Chrissy Harris
Aerial photo of Gladstone's Orica facility. Photo: Chrissy Harris Chrissy Harris

ORICA Australia has been fined $432,000 after pleading guilty to a string of environmental offences in the Gladstone Magistrates Court on Thursday.

The chemical manufacturer, which has its largest Australian facility at Yarwun, was fined and convicted $32,000 for one environmental breach and $400,000 between three separate breaches which occurred between February 2010 and February 2012.

In a Queensland first, magistrate Russell Warfield ruled that a portion of the fine could be allocated to a number of conservation groups via the public benefit order section of the Environmental Protection Act.

The Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection Andrew Powell said at least $100,000 of the $250,000 public benefit order would be allocated to turtle research at Port Curtis, $90,000 for Conservation Volunteers Australia's Gladstone program and $60,000 for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership.

In response to the incidents, Orica yesterday announced a $30 million upgrade to its Gladstone plant to improve its stormwater facility.

Orica pleaded guilty to four counts of contravening a condition of a development approval under the Environmental Protection Act

Mr Warfield said there was no evidence of environmental damage in Gladstone Harbour as a result of the breach and did not record a conviction.

"There is no evidence of environmental harm to the wildlife or waterways," Magistrate Warfield said.

Mr Warfield said Orica co-operated with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.

The judgement comes after Orica was found to have discharged unsafe levels of cyanide into waste water.

Orica is licensed to discharge wastewater containing 1 milligram per litre of total cyanide, but it was found the company had discharged 2 milligrams per litre.

Orica alerted DERM about the exceedence on February 29, 2012.

Orica was also ordered to pay $53,101.09 in legal and investigation costs.

Both Prosecting Barrister Tim Ryan and Defence Barrister Ralph Delvin refused to comment on the case outside the Gladstone Magistrates Court yesterday.

How the case unfolded:

  • June 7, 2010-Feb 29, 2012: Orica fails to notify DERM about unauthorised released of cyanide on 50 occasions.
  • 2010:  Inspectors find unauthorised release of cyanide from Orica through stormwater during a period of heavy rain.
  • March-May 2011: Orica is found to have released cyanide-contaminated effluent on 217 occasions.
  • Jan-Feb 2012: Excessive amounts of cyanide are discharged into a water waste facility.
  • Feb 29, 2012: Orica alerts DERM of the cyanide breach.
  • June 2012: Orica issues a statement claiming there had been no threat human health or the environment as a result of the alleged incident.
  • Nov 2012: Orica pleads guilty and is charged for four environmental offences.

Topics:  gladstone magistrates court orica



Date nights under $50

ACCORDING to The Bachelor falling in love involves helicopter rides, private jets, shopping trips, and we mustn’t forget the hot tubs.

Brisbane's arts and culture events centre stage

You loved the film, now you're about to love the musical. Don't miss The Bodyguard The Musical in Brisbane this July.

THE arts and culture events you don't want to miss.

Homewares stores to fulfil your Instagram dreams

No Caption

You too can become an Insta-star with these fab stores.

Top 10 Brisbane experiences to cross off your bucket list

Do yourself a favour and get amongst the food truck scene. Eat Street is a great place to start.

A GOOD bucket list doesn’t have to span continents or cost millions.

Six mega sporting events you need to be at this year

Don't miss all the action trackside this season.

IF THERE is one thing Brisbane does damn well, it’s play host.

Six reasons to get to Brisbane this Autumn

The Brisbane Powerhouse has free comedy on Friday nights.

AUTUMN has to be up there with one of the best seasons of the year.

The best things to do in Brisbane are FREE. Yes, FREE

Mt Coot-tha is a seriously gorgeous way to start your day.

HEADING to the big smoke doesn’t have to come with a big price tag.

What would you do, go for a local company or cheaper quote?

Paulette and Owen Lindley with their crew in just one of the grounds they maintain on a volunteer basis.

Debate over going local or going cheaper

'Game on': Tensions rise over regional link road development

Agnes Water residents show their displeasure.

Bulge in Gladstone man's pants tips off police

Police attending incident at the Young Australian Hotel. 
Photo Luka Kauzlaric / The Observer

He was caught multiple times with a suspicious bulge in his pants.

Local Partners

Better phone service for Gladstone's regional towns

Telstra: "This technology is delivering big benefits to these rural and regional communities”


Win a $1000

GROCERY GIFT CARD!
Learn More

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Caitlyn comes home to launch debut album

Gympie's Caitlyn Shadbolt will launch here debut album Songs On My Sleeve at an exclusive all-ages concert in Gympie on Friday, May 26.

Win tickets to Caitlyn's album launch

Concert death toll revised up to 22, tour suspended

TWENTY-TWO people have been killed and at least 59 people have been injured following a terror attack in Manchester

Casual Keanu says fame is ‘cool’

Keanu Reeves in a scene from the movie John Wick: Chapter 2.

NOBODY expected much of John Wick when it was released in 2014.

Ariana Grande breaks her silence after fatal blast

According to reports quoting witnesses, a mass emergency evacuation was prompted after explosions were heard at the end of US singer Ariana Grande's concert in the arena.

The entertainment industry is in shock after attack on concert

Pitch Perfect star suing Woman’s Day over ‘liar’ articles

Actor Rebel Wilson outside court on Friday.

REBEL Wilson's career destroyed by grubby campaign, court hears.

Seven Year Switch: The boner to end all boners

Johnny’s outraged over claims he has a cracked boner.

She gulps. Her face says it all.

Bay to star in Hollywood shark thriller ‘Cage Dive’

Cage Dive, written and directed by Gerald Rascionato, is now screening in the United States of America. It had scenes filmed in Hervey Bay.

And our visiting humpback whales also make appearance.

Celebrity sex tapes: Where does all that money go?

Basically, did Paris and Kim earn fortunes from their videos?

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

New tool reveals which areas are most 'vulnerable' for renters

An aerial shot of Agnes Water main beach. According to new information, people renting in the region are more vulnerable than those in Gladstone suburbs.

Big differences between living in Gladstone and outer areas

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!