Australian courts have ordered the owners of the infamous Stawell tyre dump to pay $4.5 million towards the cost of clearing the dump.
Stawell Dump Owener Fined $4.5 Million
The Environment Protection Authority won an order from the Supreme Court to recoup the costs of eliminating the Stawell tyre stockpile, which was estimated to hold nine million tyres.
However, prior to the clean up operation, the property was transferred to Internet Marketing Solutions Corporation, a Panamanian company registered as an “Sociedad anonima”, in other words a company whose shareholders are protected by legal anonymity in Panama.
Former director of Used Tyre Recycling Corporation, Matthew Starr said he had no connection to the new owner.
“I have never been to Panama and can’t speak or understand any Spanish,” he said.
However, during a Supreme Court challenge to have the clean-up stopped, Justice Karin Emerton described the sale of the site as “outrageous”.
“It’s open to infer that shifting assets between two companies, to a shelf company in Panama, is a device being used to avoid obligations under the fire preventions notice,” she said.
An injunction has been placed on the company to prevent it from selling the Stawell property where the tyres were stored, she said.
The clean up bill is in addition to the potential fines that Dr Starr and Used Tyre Recycling Corporation are facing, of more than $1 million for ignoring the clean-up orders.