Get licensed or face a fine

BUNDABERG Regional Council has given businesses who are breaching environmental licensing laws the chance to comply by the end of February or be fined.

Council health regulation services manager John Duffield said the amnesty was for businesses that required an “environmentally relevant activities” licence.

“We have known of a number of illegal operators so this is an opportunity for them to rectify that without any ramifications,” he said.

Businesses that require an environmentally relevant activities licence include poultry farming, chemical storage, metal forming and mechanical workshops.

Mr Duffield said the amnesty was suggested by a council office worker who had seen similar practices work at Brisbane City Council.

“It’s for people who may not have been aware that they need a licence and also to heighten their awareness of the correct procedures,” he said.

Businesses taking advantage of the amnesty will have to have their applications for licensing and registration to the council by February 28.

“After the amnesty, if there is someone operating illegally there will be a series of compliance investigations. Then we will take it to council, who will decide whether or not to act,” Mr Duffield said.

The licence and registration process is to reduce the impact on the environment.

“Environmentally, there is always an impact and there are always correct procedures for people to comply with,” he said.

Mr Duffield said the amnesty would also ensure competition in Bundaberg was fair.

“From an operator’s point of view, they would certainly like to see people in their same industry operating at the same cost for environmental issues,” he said.

If caught, the penalty is $500 for an individual and $2000 for a corporation.

For more information, visit the permits and licences page on the Bundaberg Regional Council website at www.bundaberg.qld.gov.au.



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