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Environment Protection Authority

EPA fines Tamworth freight company $10,000 for dangerous goods breach

Media release: 22 January 2016

The EPA has fined the Tamworth based Cary’s Freightlines Pty Ltd $10,000 for failing to transport dangerous goods safely, as a result of an incident on the New England Highway in September 2015.

Following a call from a member of the public on 1 September, EPA officers attended a road side site at Rix’s Creek, on the New England Highway. There it was discovered that a pallet containing four partly empty 200 litre drums of sulphuric acid had shifted inside a shipping container, resulting in one drum being damaged and starting to leak. 

EPA officers worked with NSW Fire & Rescue and NSW Roads and Maritime Services to contain and stop the leak inside the shipping container. There were no impacts on the surrounding environment.

Further investigation confirmed that Cary’s Freightlines was responsible for loading the drums of sulphuric acid - 5,400 litres in total - at its depot in Wetherill Park.

The EPA’s Manager for the Hunter Region, Adam Gilligan, said sulphuric acid is a hazardous chemical and there was potential for serious impacts.  

“It was very in lucky in this instance that the leak was relatively minor and did not result in any health or environmental impacts.

“Cary’s Freightlines, like all companies transporting dangerous goods, has a responsibility to carry such materials safely, including ensuring they are secure during transit,” Mr Gilligan said.

“Failing to do so not only puts at risk drivers and people working in the transport chain but can also endanger the health and safety of other road users, including emergency service officers called out to the scene of an accident or clean-up. There is also a real risk to the environment if acid enters streams or sensitive areas, such as wetlands.”

The EPA regularly carries out roadside inspection and compliance campaigns, often in partnership with the NSW Police and Roads and Maritime Services, to ensure those in the transport industry know the rules and their responsibilities when it comes to the transport of Dangerous Goods.

The EPA has recently provided training to Road and Maritime Services inspectors and NSW Police officers on assessing compliance with dangerous goods requirements. The increase in the number of officers carrying out inspections means that drivers or transport companies choosing to operate in breach of the rules will be caught.

For more information about the transport of dangerous goods visit the EPA website:

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 22 January 2016