Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) has successfully argued in a Kyneton Magistrates’ Court today (2 March) that Coliban Water must make a significant contribution to rehabilitating damage it caused to Snipes Creek when it discharged treated wastewater to the creek in breach of its EPA licence in 2019.
Coliban Water will pay $150,000 towards the rehabilitation project to the ecosystem of Snipes Creek, which is a tributary of the Campaspe River, and will also be placed on a two-year bond and pay costs of $10,000 to EPA.
In December 2020, at the Kyneton Magistrates Court, Coliban Water pleaded guilty to EPA charges of causing or permitting an environmental hazard and pollution of waters. The Court also recorded convictions on those charges.
The Court agreed to adjourn the matter until 2 March 2021 to allow EPA to complete an evaluation process consistent with the Inspiring Environmental Solutions (IES) Guidelines which allows for Court-ordered community projects to be funded.
Magistrate Southey found that, taking prior offences into account, Coliban Water should contribute to the EPA’s proposed program under the Environment Protection Act 1970.
EPA CEO Lee Miezis said the Court ruled that Coliban Water should not have allowed the discharge.
“Having pleaded guilty to doing so, it will now pay to help work with the local community to restore Snipes Creek for the benefit of that community,” Mr Miezis said.
“EPA wants local communities to know that we will fight for them in Court, to get them justice and to seek ways to repair the damage that has been done.”