Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Waste and recycling

Fines and penalties for illegal dumping

The Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 (POEO Act) provides a tiered range of on-the-spot fines and penalties for illegal dumping offences.

Tiers of offence

Tier 3 – Offences where an on-the-spot fine is issued

  • $7500 on-the-spot fine for individuals, if issued by the EPA ($4000 otherwise)
  • $15,000 on-the-spot fine for corporations, if issued by the EPA ($8000 otherwise)

Tier 2 - Strict liability waste dumping offences

  • Maximum penalty for an individual: $250,000 and, in the case of a continuing offence, a further daily penalty of $60,000
  • Maximum penalty for a corporation: $1,000,000 and in the case of a continuing offence, a further daily penalty of $120,000

Tier 1 - Wilful or negligent disposal of waste causing actual or likely harm to the environment

  • Maximum penalty for an individual: $1,000,000 and/or 7 year prison sentence for wilful offences; $500,000 and/or 4 year prison sentence for negligent offences
  • Maximum penalty for a corporation: $5,000,000 for wilful offences; $2,000,000 for negligent offences

Increased penalties

Recent amendments to the POEO Act increased penalties for illegal dumping including:

  • Vehicles used in repeat illegal dumping offences can be seized, and if the offender is convicted the vehicle can be forfeited.
  • Repeat offenders can receive prison sentences of up to two years.
  • A person knowingly supplying false and misleading information in the course of dealing with waste can receive a fine of up to $500,000 for a coporation; or $240,000 and/or an 18 month prison sentence for an individual.
  • The offender can be required to re-pay any monetary benefit obtained as a result of the offence as an additional penalty.

More information

Tough new penalties

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Page last updated: 14 January 2015