The following summarises State and Territory pollution prevention provisions that could be used against a NSP for inappropriate disposal of N&S. The application of these provisions to IDU for discarding N&S into public areas is unclear as these provisions are generally targeted towards commercial/industrial waste generators. However, such interpretation would ultimately rest with the relevant agency responsible for administering the legislation.

Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
Northern Territory
Queensland
South Australia
Tasmania
Victoria
Western Australia

Australian Capital Territory legislation

Environment Protection Act 1997

s22 General environmental duty
  1. A person shall take such steps as are practicable and reasonable to prevent or minimise environmental harm or environmental nuisance caused, or likely to be caused, by an activity conducted by that person.
s141 Causing environmental nuisance

A person shall not cause an environmental nuisance.

Maximum penalty: 50 penalty units.

environmental nuisance means an unreasonable interference with the enjoyment by the public, a section of the public or a person of a place or area, being an interference caused or likely to be caused by—
  1. dust, fumes, light, noise, odour or smoke; or

  2. an unhealthy, unsightly or otherwise offensive condition because of pollution.
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New South Wales legislation

Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997

While the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 contains provisions relating to pollution, these are unlikely to be used in the event of N&S being deposited in a manner to cause harm to the environment or public health. It is more probable that the litter provisions of this Act would apply.

Northern Territory legislation

Waste Management and Pollution Control Act

s12. General environmental duty

(1) A person who –
    (a) conducts an activity that causes or is likely to cause pollution resulting in environmental harm or that generates or is likely to generate waste; or
    (b) performs an action that causes or is likely to cause pollution resulting in environmental harm or that generates or is likely to generate waste,

    must take all measures that are reasonable and practicable to –

    (c) prevent or minimise the pollution or environmental harm; and
    (d) reduce the amount of the waste.

Queensland legislation

Environmental Protection Act 1994

s36(1) A person must not carry out any activity that causes, or is likely to cause, environmental harm unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise the harm (the "general environmental duty").

s14(1) Environmental harm is any adverse effect, or potential adverse effect (whether temporary or permanent and of whatever magnitude, duration or frequency) on an environmental value.

South Australia legislation

Environment Protection Act 1993
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s4 Responsibility for pollution

For the purposes of this Act, the occupier or person in charge of a place or vehicle at or from which a pollutant escapes or is discharged, emitted or deposited will be taken to have polluted the environment with the pollutant (but without affecting the liability of any other person in respect of the escape, discharge, emission or depositing of the pollutant).

s25 General environmental duty
  1. A person must not undertake an activity that pollutes, or might pollute, the environment unless the person takes all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent or minimise any resulting environmental harm.
s82 Causing environmental nuisance

A person who causes an environmental nuisance by polluting the environment intentionally or recklessly and with the knowledge that an environmental nuisance will or might result is guilty of an offence.

Penalty: Division 3 fine.

Environmental nuisance means
  1. any adverse effect on an amenity value of an area that

    1. is caused by noise, smoke, dust, fumes or odour; and

    2. unreasonably interferes with or is likely to interfere unreasonably with the enjoyment of the area by persons occupying a place within, or lawfully resorting to, the area; or

  2. any unsightly or offensive condition caused by waste;

Tasmania legislation

Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994

Environmental harm

5. (1) For the purposes of this Act, environmental harm is any adverse effect on the environment (of whatever degree or duration) and includes an environmental nuisance.

Responsibility for pollution

6. For the purposes of this Act, the occupier or person in charge of a place or vehicle at or from which a pollutant escapes or is discharged, emitted or deposited is taken to have polluted the environment with the pollutant (but without affecting the liability of any other person in respect of the escape, discharge, emission or depositing of the pollutant).

General environmental duty

23A. (1) A person must take such steps as are practicable or reasonable to prevent or minimise environmental harm or environmental nuisance caused, or likely to be caused, by an activity conducted by that person.
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Victorian legislation

Environment Protection Act 1993

s45. Pollution of land

(1) A person shall not pollute land so that the condition of the land is so changed as to make or be reasonably expected to make the land or the produce of the land—

(b) harmful or potentially harmful to the health or welfare of human beings;

(e) obnoxious or unduly offensive to the senses of human beings; or

(3) A person who contravenes any of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an indictable offence against this Act and liable to a penalty of not more than 2400 penalty units and in the case of a continuing offence to a daily penalty of not more than 1200 penalty units for each day the offence continues after conviction or after service by the Authority of notice of contravention of this section.

s59E. Offence of aggravated pollution

A person who intentionally, recklessly or negligently pollutes the environment or intentionally, recklessly or negligently causes or permits an environmental hazard which results in—
  1. serious damage to the environment; or

  2. a serious threat to public health; or

  3. a substantial risk of serious damage to the environment; or

  4. a substantial risk of a serious threat to public health—
is guilty of an indictable offence.

In the case of an individual, a fine of 2500 penalty units or 7 years imprisonment or both.

In the case of a body corporate, a fine of 10,000 penalty units.
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Western Australia legislation

Environment Protection Act 1986

s49. Causing pollution and unreasonable emissions

(2) A person who intentionally or with criminal negligence
    1. causes pollution; or

    2. allows pollution to be caused, commits an offence.
(3) A person who causes pollution or allows pollution to be caused commits an offence.

s50. Discharge of waste in circumstances in which it is likely to cause pollution

(1) A person who intentionally or with criminal negligence
    (a) causes waste to be placed; or
    (b) allows waste to be placed,

    in any position from which the waste

    (c) could reasonably be expected to gain access to any portion of the environment; and
    (d) would in so gaining access be likely to result in pollution, commits an offence.

(2) A person who causes or allows waste to be placed in any position from which the waste

    1. could reasonably be expected to gain access to any portion of the environment; and

    2. would in so gaining access be likely to result in pollution, commits an offence.

    "pollution" means direct or indirect alteration of the environment.