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Successful prosecution for New Town Rivulet fish kill

Hobart refrigeration company Kibbey & Cooper today were fined ,000 in the Hobart Magistrates Court for their part in a fish kill in New Town Rivulet in October last year.

The company pleaded guilty to an offence under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994.

The offence occurred on 16 October 2005 when a quantity of ammonia was discharged into a stormwater drain emptying into New Town Rivulet.

The discharge resulted in the death of at least 300 fish in the rivulet.

Kibbey & Cooper were undertaking work at the National Foods plant in Lenah Valley when the incident occurred.

Magistrate Helen Wood said that there was significant culpability on the part of the company, and if the directions of National Foods had been followed the incident would not have occurred.

Kibbey & Cooper were jointly charged with National Foods for causing material environmental harm under the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act. National Foods were previously fined ,000 for their role in the incident.

The Director of Environmental Management, Warren Jones, said that contractors must be aware of the potential environmental effects of the substances they are dealing with and take appropriate precautions to prevent spillages getting into the environment.

"This incident could have been prevented with a little more care and forethought," Mr Jones said.