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Tackle Illegal Asbestos Dumping By Implementing "One Strike, You’re Out" Policy - TWU NSW

Release date: 26/02/2016

TWU NSW BRANCH MEDIA RELEASE, 26 February 2016
 
Transport Workers’ Union NSW Secretary Michael Aird has said that Mike Baird could tackle the scourge of illegal asbestos dumping by implementing a “One strike, you’re out” policy for clients or operators caught dumping illegally, underpaying minimum rates or not maintaining their tip trucks.

Mr Aird was speaking after the latest illegal asbestos dumping incident in Sydney, where a 50 metre tail of asbestos was dumped near homes at Chester Hill in Sydney’s West on Thursday morning.
 
“Dangerously low rates of pay, cowboy operators and a total lack of regulation in the tip truck industry creates a cocktail for dumping, disease and disaster,” Mr Aird said.
 
“If the State Government wants to tackle the scourge of illegal dumping then they need to ensure that everyone involved in construction – from the billion dollar head contractors right down the chain – knows that they’ll be kicked out of the industry if caught dumping illegally, overloading, underpaying minimum rates or not maintaining their tip trucks.”
 
Tip Truck owner driver Phil Ramondino said that it was getting harder and harder for operators who play by the rules to secure work.
 
“When I price a job for a client, my price includes the cost of properly dealing with the waste and asbestos at the recycling site, never overloading and safely maintaining my truck. But relentless demands from head contractors has led some dodgy operators to undercut minimum rates and then stay profitable by breaking all the rules,” Mr Ramondino said.
 
“It’s a recipe for disaster and it’s driving the good guys who play by the rules out of business.”
 
Mr Aird said that the Baird Government has allowed rogue elements to thumb their noses at regulations for years now, highlighting one notorious case where a serial offender who owes $450,000 for illegal dumping is currently paying it back at $300 per month.*
 
“This cowboy is on a $300 per month payment plan stretching to 2072 - that’s not a sanction, that’s a slap on the wrist,” Mr Aird said.
 
“We’re blue in the face from telling the State Government that the construction transport industry is like the Wild West, with no enforcement of safety standards and a total lack of auditing of operators.
 
“The State Government knows full well that there are minimum costs to do the job safely, yet they continue to turn a blind eye and put the NSW community at risk. We need some backbone from the Government to crack down on these mobs.”


Note:

*Serial offender fined $225,000 for illegally dumping asbestos waste

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