Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Soldiers Point Marina receives fine for allowing pollutants to enter marina at Port Stephens

Media release: 30 May 2016

The NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has issued Clippers Anchorage Pty Ltd (trading as Soldiers Point Marina) with a $15,000 fine for releasing pollutants into the marina at Port Stephens while undertaking maintenance on a large vessel at their slipway. 

The EPA’s Manager Hunter Region, Adam Gilligan, said when an EPA officer was inspecting the premises they saw a large boat being cleaned by a contractor using a high pressure spray.  

“The high pressure cleaning was occurring in a manner such that waste material was discharged directly into the marina at Port Stephens, bypassing the catch drain.

 “As a result slime, some biomaterial and “antifouling” paint flowed into the marina. Antifoul paint can be particularly toxic to marine life and so care is needed when working with this substance.

“Even greater care is needed in this area as the waters are sensitive, being part of the Port Stephens - Great Lakes Marine Park and being close to oyster leases.

There have previously been a number of community complaints regarding the use of the slipway at the Soldiers Point Marina. The EPA had issued the company with an official caution in 2014 for a similar incident. 

Penalty notices are one of a number of tools the EPA can use to achieve environmental compliance, including formal warnings, licence conditions, notices and directions, mandatory audits, enforceable undertakings, legally binding pollution reduction programs and prosecutions.

The EPA must also take a range of factors into account before delivering a proportionate regulatory response, including the degree of environmental harm, whether or not there are any real or potential health impacts, if the action of the offender was deliberate, compliance history, public interest and best environmental outcomes.

Soldiers Point Marina has also received a clean-up notice to test the materials that had been removed and appropriately dispose of those materials.       

“On 26 and 27 May 2016, the EPA observed a large stockpile of wet sand and sediments on the slipway of the Marina. No environmental controls were observed to manage the dredging activities or storage of materials that had been removed from the water.

The EPA has issued the Clean Up Notice to ensure that the necessary environmental controls are installed and that the material is disposed of appropriately.

For more information about the EPA’s regulatory tools, see the EPA Compliance Policy http://www.epa.nsw.gov.au/legislation/prosguid.htm.

Contact: EPA Media Officer

Page last updated: 30 May 2016