Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Fines issued for unsafe transport of flammable beads across Sydney

Media release: 27 June 2017

The Land and Environment Court has convicted and fined transport company Stockwell International Pty Ltd $84,000 for failing to transport dangerous goods by road in a safe manner from Port Botany to Smithfield. The Court also convicted and fined the driver, Mr Darren Hill $2,800 for the same offence.

Stockwell and Mr Hill were both ordered to pay the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s legal costs for prosecuting the cases against them. The judgement was delivered last week, on Thursday 22 June.

In October 2014, Stockwell International engaged Mr Hill to transport approximately 16,000 kilograms of flammable dangerous goods comprising expandable polymeric beads, which are used in the manufacture of polystyrene.

EPA Executive Director of Hazardous Incidents and Environmental Health Sarah Gardner said the dangerous goods laws are in place to reduce the risks that the transport of dangerous goods could pose to the community and environment.

“Polymeric beads are flammable and are classified as dangerous goods.

“While transporting the dangerous goods from Port Botany to Smithfield, Mr Hill travelled through three tunnels, including the tunnel under the runway of Sydney Airport, and two tunnels on the M5 Motorway, which are all prohibited for dangerous goods transport.

“Both Stockwell and Mr Hill have not met their responsibilities to transport the goods safely. Their actions increased the risks posed to members of the community, emergency services and the environment in the event of an accident or spill.”

Stockwell International was responsible for overseeing the safe transport of the goods, including providing appropriate instructions, supervision and training to staff and Mr Hill. They were also required to ensure that the driver and vehicle were appropriately licensed, that the vehicle was appropriately labelled and that it carried appropriate documentation and safety equipment - all of which they failed to do.

Mr Hill did not transport the dangerous goods safely by failing to hold a current dangerous goods drivers licence, by driving a vehicle that was unlicensed and was not appropriately labelled, neither did it have the required emergency information or carry a fire extinguisher. In driving through the tunnels, Mr Hill also transported dangerous goods through prohibited areas.

The EPA regulates the transport of dangerous goods through the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Act 2008 and the Dangerous Goods (Road and Rail Transport) Regulation 2014.

Anyone who sees dangerous goods being transported in an unsafe manner should contact the Environment Line on 131 555.

The EPA is also prosecuting Toll Global Forwarding Pty Ltd for its alleged role in the incident.

Contact: Public Affairs

Page last updated: 27 June 2017