WA worker fined more than $15,000 over attempted illegal dumping

WA worker fined more than $15,000 over attempted illegal dumping

A young Western Australian man who was only a few weeks into working for his father’s asbestos handling company has been handed a $15,000 fine for attempting to dump two tonnes of asbestos-containing material on the side of the road.

Jack Scofield appeared in the Rockingham Magistrates Court this week, where he pleaded guilty to one count of discharging or abandoning or allowing waste on or in any place other than water to which the public has access.

The solicitor for the state, Michael Olds, explained that on March 13 2020, Scofield and his co-accused, Raj Singh, transported a load of asbestos-containing cement sheeting in a truck belonging to Action Asbestos, which employed them both.

They arrived at a waste management facility, where the weighbridge operator asked them if it was asbestos material, and if it was, they could purchase the appropriate equipment to label it, which Scofield declined to do before the pair drove away.

A city council officer testified that he witnessed the two men adjacent to the truck with its tray raised, and contacted the city to assist him. The officer that arrived shortly afterwards explained that he recorded an interview with the defendant, who admitted the truck had held waste. He noted that the two men put on overalls and PPE and loaded the material back onto the truck, and it was driven back to the waste management facility and disposed of correctly.

The owner of the company, Mr Scofield, explained that he fired Mr Singh later that day. The Magistrate noted that the whole incident, including court appearance and penalties, could have been avoided and in sentencing, explained that it needed to “serve as a reminder to not re-offend”.

“This sort of behaviour is one that is hard to detect and it’s one that requires the strongest deterrence to the public,” he said.

Scofield was fined $15,000 with court costs of $163, and was ordered to pay $7,700.68 in prosecution costs.

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