TasWater and Treasurer at odds over trade waste disposal

Posted 24 August 2017

trade wasteTasWater has accused State Treasurer Peter Gutwein of encouraging businesses to break the law in their disposal of trade waste.

The accusation came after Gutwein said TasWater was harming Tasmanian businesses by making them comply with environmental requirements. Gutwein said business felt “threatened and intimidated” into installing new trade waste treatment systems to dispose of fats, oils and grease. 

“We are hearing from businesses all around the state that TasWater’s stance on this is ruining the industry. TasWater should be working with businesses and be an enabler rather than be against them,” Gutwein said.

TasWater Chairman Miles Hampton said the Treasurer was either confused or being deliberately misleading. 

“In pointing the finger at TasWater, the Treasurer fails to acknowledge that the corporation is actually complying with State Government legislation,” Hampton said. 

“TasWater has a legal requirement to ensure people dispose of their trade waste appropriately and the State Government, through the EPA, is responsible for regulating TasWater’s activities in this regard.”  

Hampton said trade waste causes blockages in the sewerage system that can result in spills, and that some Tasmanian business practices post a risk to public health and the environment. 

Hundreds of businesses across the state had been inspected since March last year, Hampton said, and the majority had been found to be compliant in their disposal of trade waste or were actively working with TasWater to become compliant. 

“Businesses have been given a generous 18-month timeframe to become compliant and the overall process is considered fair and equitable,” he said. 

“If the State Government is serious about protecting public health and the environment, it would work with us and continue to support, not criticise TasWater’s trade waste program.”

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