Vic man fined for burning industrial waste

·1-min read

A man has been convicted and fined $7000 for burning a stockpile of industrial waste in western Victoria.

Joshua Luke Kostecki of Lillimur pleaded guilty to four charges in Horsham Magistrates Court over the blaze on rented land behind his Western Highway home, and another fire at a property at Nintingbool, near Ballarat.

He was ordered to pay $2664 in costs to the state's Environmental Protection Authority.

The Lillimur fire flames were 30 metres high and contained industrial waste which was dumped overnight in early May last year.

This included carpet, timber, plaster, food packaging, documents, books and fibreglass.

More waste covering 600sq m and standing three metres high was dumped on May 5, 2021.

It was reported on fire at 1.30am on May 6.

The EPA argued the smoke posed an environmental hazard and endangered surrounding homes, residents and traffic on the Western Highway.

"The offences might have been on unoccupied land a long way from the major cities, but someone still saw the stockpile on fire and reported it," EPA executive director operations Mark Rossiter said.

Kostecki was ordered to remove the waste for lawful disposal by July 12, 2021 but failed to do so.

The environment department was forced to clear the site at a cost of more than $77,000.

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