Supreme Court rules on Numurkah tyre dump

Published on 01 October 2018


 The Supreme Court of Victoria has determined the Sidebottom Group Pty Ltd and Shanan James Sidebottom be each convicted of criminal contempt, with the company fined $50,000 and Mr Sidebottom sentenced to four month’s imprisonment.

Moira Shire Council CEO Mark Henderson said this dispute had been ongoing for many years with numerous VCAT and Supreme Court orders for the Sidebottom group to remove the tyres.

"In 2013 some of the tyres, within a 50m2 area of land, caught fire which put the Numurkah community at risk and caused significant disruption," Mr Henderson said.

"After further non-compliance by the company and Mr Sidebottom, we filed a fresh summons this year seeking the committal of Mr Sidebottom for contempt of court."

Mr Sidebottom pleaded guilty and sought a further 12 months to clear the site with suspended minor penalties.

"We welcome the news the Supreme Court has found in our favour and imposed a suitable penalty given that the most recent CFA risk assessment of the site is extreme with potentially catastrophic impacts on the Numurkah community were a large fire to take hold of the site," Mr Henderson said.

"It is obvious the Sidebottom Group has no intention of removing the tyres for legal recycling so we are working with relevant Victorian State agencies to assess what other options are available.

"The Council is totally committed to removing this risk without exposing ratepayers to the cost of removal."

Mr Henderson said having this latest court ruling was an important step in reaching that outcome.

"It sends a very clear message to polluters that if you are going to create an environmental and fire risk you will be penalised."