Noosa Council could be facing a hefty fine after a DES investigation found workers incinerated treated timber without permits.
Noosa Council could be facing a hefty fine after a DES investigation found workers incinerated treated timber without permits.

Noosa Council could cop $3m fine for illegal burn pit

Noosa Council could be facing a fine of up to $3m after an investigation determined workers incinerated treated timber in a "burn pit" last year without approval.

The Daily reported in December that the council was at the centre of an investigation by the Department of Environment and Science after officers attended the Pomona depot off Yurol Forest Drive on October 28.

The depot is on the outskirts of the Yurol State Forest.

It was alleged that treated timber had been burned and stockpiled at the site without relevant permits and the investigation was launched.

The Pomona depot off Yurol Forest Drive is at the centre of DES investigation. Picture: Google Maps
The Pomona depot off Yurol Forest Drive is at the centre of DES investigation. Picture: Google Maps

Earlier: Investigation after Noosa council burns treated timber

Timber treated with copper chrome arsenate can be toxic when ingested or inhaled as smoke or ash and when buried the toxins from the ash can leach into soil.

A Department of Environment and Science spokesperson said it had now been established that the council did illegally burn and bury the treated timber.

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"Basically we did determine they constructed a burn pit at the site and incinerated construction timber without approvals," the spokesperson said.

"At the moment [the investigation] is ongoing, it hasn't been completed."

The offence of carrying out an environmentally relevant activity without permits carries a maximum penalty of 4500 penalty units or $600,525 for individuals, or 22,000 units or $3,002,625 for corporations.

However, warnings and other enforcement orders could be enforced.

"It's now a matter of going through the finer details and working out which penalties may apply, if any," the spokesperson said.

"The Noosa Council have been 100 per cent co-operative."

In December, the Noosa council hired a third party to remove the potentially toxic material from the Pomona depot after the investigation began.

The Daily has contacted Noosa Council for comment.


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