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Hobart City Council fined ,000

Hobart City Council has been fined ,000 for depositing a mixture of untreated sewage and industrial waste into Hobart Rivulet.

The Director of Environmental Management, Warren Jones, said the material escaped from a Council sewer into the rivulet on the 22 and 23 June 2006, as a result of a build up of material causing a blockage of the pipe.

Mr Jones said his officers investigated the offence after a member of the public reported discolouration of the water in the rivulet on 22 June 2006.

Environment Division officers inspected the rivulet and retrieved a number of dead fish. They also collected water samples from the rivulet and observed a platypus swimming in the discoloured water.

Mr Jones said Magistrate Chris Webster handed down his decision after finding he was not satisfied that the Council had taken all reasonable and practicable measures to prevent the incident.

Magistrate Webster fined the Hobart City Council ,000 for the offence of depositing a pollutant in a place or position where it could reasonably be expected to cause material environmental harm.

An order was also made for technical costs.

Mr Jones said these findings should serve as a warning to Councils that sewerage infrastructure must be properly maintained to prevent pollution and environmental harm.