Company Fined for Pre-empting Environmental Approval

The Australian Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) has announced that it has fined Stuart Petroleum (Stuart) over A$102,000 for breaching s. 74AA of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 No. 91 (Cth). Stuart pleaded guilty in the Darwin Magistrates’ Court to commencing its drilling program in the Timor Sea in October 2009 before it had received federal environmental approval. DSEWPaC spokesperson Rose Webb warned other companies that “trying to bypass the [environmental] assessment process isn’t going to speed up your project – it’s more likely going to create problems for your company”.
DSEWPaC’s media release (17 December 2010)
(Source: DSEWPaC; Lawlex Legislative Alert & Premium Research)