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Brownes Food Operations Pty Ltd appeared before Magistrate Kelvin Fisher at the Bunbury Magistrates Court on 28 July 2014 and was fined $100,000 after pleading guilty to pollution.

The Court was told that between 27 November and 16 December 2011 between 70,000 and 140,000 litres of unprocessed milk was discharged into a storm water drainage system which flowed into a natural creek feeding the Elvira Gully — a tributary of the Brunswick River in Brunswick.

The milk discharge was due to a failed electric motor which had not been inspected or maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s assembly and operating instructions.

The Court accepted that Brownes caused pollution in the waters of the Elvira Gully from its Brunswick milk processing facility, contrary to section 49(3) and 99Q of the Environmental Protection Act 1986.

The Magistrate stated that he took into account the company’s full cooperation with the Department of Environment Regulation’s investigation, the significant costs incurred in the company’s clean-up operation and the early guilty plea.

The Court also ordered Brownes to pay costs of $4134.70.

 

Spokesperson

Department of Environment Regulation

 

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