Truckie's transport of toxic cargo risked $500,000 fine

A TRUCK driver has been fined $25,000 after admitting to the illegal transport of asbestos.

Ipswich Magistrates Court heard Wayne Morris Wharton, or others procured by him, illegally transported asbestos in Ipswich between October 2015 and August 2016.

The court heard the asbestos was being transported to lanfill operations in New Chum.

On Monday, Wharton admitted to 65 separate offences relating to the illegal transport of the potentially hazardous material.

A Department of Environment and Heritage Protection prosecutor told the Court that transporting asbestos required an environmental authority.

While Wharton, who is from Brisbane, previously had an environmental authority, this had been suspended for the non-payment of fees prior to the offences.

In addition to the fine, the court ordered Wharton to pay legal and investigation costs totalling $2842.55.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said the State Government took the illegal transport of waste very seriously.

"This type of illegal activity poses a direct threat not only to the environment, but to public health as well," Mr Miles said.

"The Court's penalty in this case is a reminder to all transporter operators that they must do the right thing.

"Under the Environmental Protection Act there are very heavy penalties for this type of offence - up to a fine of $530,100.

"This highlights the importance of Operation TORA, a government program targeting unlicensed and unlawful waste activities which includes inspections of vehicles transporting waste from within Queensland as well as those coming from interstate."



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