2000 June: Gosford Council Fined. Pesticide: Diazinon

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Record Fine For Council

Newcastle Herald Wednesday June 28, 2000

GOSFORD City Council was fined $16,000 for pesticide misuse in a record sentence handed down in the Land and Environment Court yesterday.

The council pleaded guilty to breaching the Pesticides Act and was ordered to pay a further $12,000 costs for disregarding a label instruction when using a registered pesticide.

The charges, brought against the council by the NSW Environmental Protection Authority, relate to incidents in March, 1999 where council employees mixed pesticide at up to 26 times the recommended concentration and sprayed it at the wrong rate.

EPA director-general Neil Shepherd said the court found that on March 30 last year, the council mixed the pesticide `pennside’ at 26 times the recommended concentration and then applied 10 times the recommended amount to the Kincumber High School oval.

About 50 wood ducks were found dead near the school oval, sparking the EPA’s investigation.