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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Environment Australia Annual Report 2001-02

Environment Australia, 2002
ISSN 1441-9335

Reports - Operation of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989

In accordance with section 61 of the Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act 1989, this report covers the operation of the Act from 1 July 2001 until 30 June 2002.

Purpose of the Act

The main purpose of the Act is to regulate the export and import of hazardous waste to ensure that exported or imported hazardous waste is disposed of safely so that human beings and the environment, both within and outside Australia, are protected from the harmful effects of the waste.

The Act was developed to enable Australia to comply with specific obligations under the Basel Convention on the Control of the Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal by regulating the export and import of hazardous waste. The original Act of 1989 only controlled movements of wastes that lacked financial value, usually destined for final disposal operations, mirroring the then understanding of the convention's scope.

The Act was amended when it subsequently became apparent that the convention also encompassed movements of wastes destined for recycling and recovery of valuable constituents. The Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Amendment Act 1996 entered into force on 12 December 1996. The amendments aligned the scope of the Act with that of the Basel Convention, enabling Australia to meet all its obligations under the convention. The period 2001-02 covers the fifth full year in which the amended legislation has been in force.

The Basel Convention

The Basel Convention was developed by the United Nations Environment Programme and adopted on 22 March 1989. It imposes two kinds of obligations on members:

Australia ratified the convention on 5 February 1992 and the convention entered into force on 5 May 1992. The 6th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention is scheduled for 9 to 13 December 2002.

Regulations

Regulations made under the amended Hazardous Waste (Regulation of Exports and Imports) Act provide for:

Permits

In 2001-02 the Minister or his delegates granted nine export and ten import permits. They refused five permits, varied five others and granted one transit permit. Details of permit applications received in 2001-02, including those not resolved by the end of the year, are presented in the tables below.

Fee Income

During the year $14 606 was received in fee income. Fees are set to recover the costs of administration, in line with Government policy.

Contraventions, Enforcement and Suspension of Permits

There were no prosecutions under the Act during 2001-02. The Australian Federal Police investigated two suspected illegal exports of hazardous waste under section 40 of the Act (regulation of export of hazardous waste): investigations were continuing as at 30 June 2002.

A shipment of zinc sulfate heptahydrate, imported from China for use as fertiliser, was found to be heavily contaminated with cadmium and was sent back to China under Ministerial order on 14 May 2002.

Three containers of post-consumer plastic scrap, destined for export to Asian ports, were opened and inspected. In all three instances it appeared doubtful that the scrap conformed to industry specifications for plastic scrap, in which case the scrap would be controlled as household waste under the Act. It also appeared doubtful that the evidence was clear enough to justify prosecution, and Environment Australia will work with the industry to clarify acceptable standards for this type of waste and to ensure that industry is well aware of the legal requirements.

A container suspected of being loaded with electronic scrap was seized and inspected. The cargo consisted of old but still usable personal computers that were poorly packaged. Although it was doubtful that all of the equipment would be usable on arrival, most of it would be and the container was released. This was a borderline case. The export of old electronic equipment from Australia is a growing issue and Environment Australia will work with this industry to ensure that usable equipment is clearly distinguished from scrap.

Administrative Appeals Tribunal

On 3 October 2001 Australian Refined Alloys Pty Ltd lodged an application with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a Review of Decision in respect of the decision to grant a permit to Exide Australia Pty Ltd to export used lead-acid batteries to New Zealand. On 11 February 2002, Australian Refined Alloys advised that the application had been withdrawn.

Freedom of Information

There were no applications under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 for the release of documents regarding a permit application.

Publications

Under section 33 of the Act, particulars of all applications, permits and variations were published in the Commonwealth of Australia Government Notices Gazette.

Export Permits Granted in 2001-02
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
HydroMet Corporation Ltd 250 06.08.01-01.04.02 Precious metal concentrates for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Union Miniere, A. Greinerstraat 14 B-2660, Hoboken, Belgium.
Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd 60 22.08.01-26.07.02 Leaded antiknock sludge from NSW for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Associated Octel Co Ltd, Oil Sites Road, Ellesmere Port, Chester CH 65, 4HF, United Kingdom.
Exide Australia Pty Ltd 15 000 25.08.01-7.08.02 Wet used lead-acid batteries and lead scrap from Adelaide, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne or Perth for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Exide New Zealand, Wainone Street, Petone, New Zealand.
HydroMet Corporation Ltd 250 13.11.01-21.12.01 Precious metal concentrates for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Falconbridge Nikkelverk A/S, Serviceboks 604, 4606 Kristiansand, Norway.
Mr Bill Williams 2.5 18.11.01-12.11.02 Micro watch batteries from Sydney for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at ODIN Research and Development, Unit 198A, Road F, Boughton Industrial Estate, Boughton, Newark, Nottinghamshire, NG22, 9LD, United Kingdom.
SAFT NIFE Power Systems Australia Pty Ltd 240 20.12.01-30.10.02 Used nickel cadmium batteries from Sydney for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at SAFT NIFE AB, S- 57201 Oskarshamn, Sweden.
Basell Australia Pty Ltd 12.4 31.01.02-17.04.02 Non-halogenated solvents from Victoria for disposal by operations D14 (repackaging prior to submission to another operation), D10 (incineration on land) and D5 (specially engineered landfill) at AVR CHEMIE B.V. Prof. Gerbrandyweg 10, NL - 3197 KK, Rotterdam - Botlek, the Netherlands.
BP Refinery (Bulwer Island) Ltd 50 14.03.02-23.09.02 Leaded antiknock sludge from Queensland for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Associated Octel Co Ltd, Oil Sites Road, Ellesmere Port, Chester CH 65, 4HF, United Kingdom.
PWT Australasia Pty Ltd 80 28.04.02-01.03.02 Lead and lead compounds from Victoria for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Hydrometal S.A., Zoning Industriel D'Ehein, 8-4480, Engis, Belgium.


Variations to Export Permits Granted in 2001-02
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd 60 01.11.01-26.07.02 Vary special export permit granted to Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd on 22 August 2001 to add Belgium as a transit country for material transported to the United Kingdom.
Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd 60 23.01.02-22.08.02 Vary special export permit granted to Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd on 22 August 2001 to add Port of Durban, South Africa as a transit port for material transported to the United Kingdom.
Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd 60 04.02.02-22.08.02 Vary special export permit granted to Caltex Refineries (NSW) Pty Ltd on 22 August 2001 to add Ports of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth as transit ports for material transported to the United Kingdom.
BP Refinery (Bulwer Island) Ltd 50 30.05.02-23.09.02 Vary special export permit granted to BP Refinery (Bulwer Island) Ltd on 14 March 2002 to add Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia as a transit port for leaded antiknock sludge transported to the United Kingdom.


Import Permits Granted in 2001-02
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Intercontinental Metals Pty Ltd 250 11.07.01-10.07.02 Brass ashes and residues from New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Intercontinental Metals Pty Ltd, 28 Scarfe Street, Burnie, Tasmania.
Beaufort Shipping Agency Company 150 and 15 000 litres 18.10.01-18.10.02 Wastes comprising sump oil, compacted plastic waste, broken glass from bottles, steel from plated steel cans, ashes from the incineration of wood and by-products, empty kerosene 200 litre drums, waste copper electrical wires, and steel and some insulating plastic from a building removed from the French Antarctic Territory to Collex Waste Management Pty Ltd, 75 Mornington Road, Mornington, Tasmania 7018. To be disposed of in various ways including deep burial at the Hobart tip at McRobies Gully Landfill South Hobart, recycling of glass, cans and waste oils, and incineration of 'high risk items' at the Hobart Marine Board incinerator.
HydroMet Corporation Ltd 400 28.03.02-01.12.02 Waste containing selenium sludge from Norway for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at MinMet Operations, 25 School Drive, Tomago, NSW.
Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd 4000 29.04.02-31.03.03 Aluminium dross and residues from New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd, Mitchell Avenue, Weston, NSW.
Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd 1000 05.06.02-05.06.03 Zinc ashes and residues from Malaysia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, NSW.
Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd 1000 05.06.02-05.06.03 Zinc ashes and residues from Vietnam for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, NSW.
Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd 1000 05.06.02-05.06.03 Zinc ashes and residues from Indonesia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, NSW.
Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd 1000 05.06.02-05.06.03 Zinc ashes and residues from the Philippines for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Industrial Galvanizers Corporation Pty Ltd, Lot 2, Shellharbour Road, Port Kembla, NSW.
HydroMet Corporation Ltd 400 12.06.02-15.04.03 Copper-precious metals concentrate from Norway for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at MinMet Operations, 25 School Drive, Tomago, NSW.
Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd 4000 25.06.02-31.05.02 Aluminium dross and residues from New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd, Mitchell Avenue, Weston, NSW.

Variations to Import Permits Granted in 2001-02
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Sims Aluminium Pty Ltd 1200 11.03.02-19.06.02 Application to vary permit granted on 19.06.01 to import aluminium ashes and residues from Sims Pacific, James Fletcher Drive, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Sims Aluminium Pty Ltd, 42 - 46 Charles Street, St Marys, NSW.


Transit Permits Granted in 2001-02
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Period of permit Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Simsmetal Ltd 360 24.08.01-31.07.02 Transit through Australia of up to 360 metric tonnes of waste lead-acid batteries, on their sea voyage from Papua New Guinea to P.T. Non Ferindo Utama, Manis Industrial Estate, JI Manis 11/1 Desa Kadu, Curug-Tangerang, Indonesia. Shipments would transit Brisbane, Hobart, Port Kembla, Melbourne, Newcastle and Port Pirie.


Export Applications Received But Not Resolved by 30 June 2002
  Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Date received Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Tomago Aluminium Company Pty Ltd 8200 01.06.01 Spent potlinings containing cyanides from New South Wales for R13, accumulation of material intended for R5, recycling/reclamation of other inorganic materials, at SELCA S.p.A, 22 Via Milano, Pisogne (Bs) 25055, Italy.
Tredi Australia Pty Ltd 150 25.07.01 Nickel-cadmium batteries from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at SNAM Viviez, BP4 Avenue Jean Jaures, 12110 Viviez, France.
Simsmetal Ltd 20 25.07.01 Automotive fluff from Simsmetal Ltd's facilities at Spearwood, Western Australia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Simsmetal UK Ltd, Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8AQ, United Kingdom.
SAFT NIFE Power Systems Australia Pty Ltd 240 13.09.01 Nickel-cadmium batteries from New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Saft Nife AB, S-57201 Oskarshamn, Sweden.
Mount Isa Mines Ltd 8.66 04.04.02 Lead dross from Queensland for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Union Miniere, Hoboken, Belgium.
Mount Isa Mines Ltd 3000 04.04.02 Zinc ferrite from Queensland for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Avonmouth, United Kingdom.
Simsmetal Ltd 20 12.04.02 Automotive fluff from Simsmetal Ltd's facilities at St Marys, New South Wales for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Simsmetal UK Ltd, Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8AQ, United Kingdom.
Simsmetal Ltd 20 12.04.02 Automotive fluff from Simsmetal Ltd's facilities at Brooklyn, Victoria for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Simsmetal UK Ltd, Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8AQ, United Kingdom.
Simsmetal Ltd 20 12.04.02 Automotive fluff from Simsmetal Ltd's facilities at Gillman, South Australia for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Simsmetal UK Ltd, Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8AQ, United Kingdom.
Simsmetal Ltd 20 12.04.02 Automotive fluff from Simsmetal Ltd's facilities at Rocklea, Queensland for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Simsmetal UK Ltd, Long Marston, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 8AQ, United Kingdom.
Exide Australia Pty Ltd 15 000 30.04.02 Waste comprising lead acid batteries, whole or crushed, for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Exide New Zealand, Wainone Street, Petone, New Zealand.
HydroMet Corporation Ltd 250 25.06.01 Precious metal concentrates for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Umicore, A. Greinerstraat 14 B-2660, Hoboken, Belgium.


Import Applications Received But Not Resolved by 30 June 2002
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Date received Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Farmoz Pty Ltd 3000 12.06.02 Sludges from the treatment of industrial waste water from Denmark for land treatment resulting in benefit to agriculture or ecological improvement.
Pasminco Metals Pty Ltd 350 12.06.02 Bronze and copper baghouse dust from New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Pasminco Cockle Creek Smelter, Main Road, Boolaroo, NSW.
Sims Aluminium Pty Ltd 2000 14.06.02 Aluminium ashes and residues from Sims Pacific, James Fletcher Drive, Otahuhu, Auckland, New Zealand for recycling/ reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Sims Aluminium Pty Ltd, 42 - 46 Charles Street, St Marys, NSW.


Applications Refused 2001-02
Applicant Quantity (tonnes) Date received Type of waste, disposal operation and destination
Beaver Metals Pty Ltd 250 30.07.01 Brass dross/skimmings from Victoria for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Metallic Extractors, Birmingham, United Kingdom.
GRD Minproc Ltd 0.035 18.11.01 'SNAP', which is a partially rotted organic fraction of municipal solid waste, from Germany for use as a fuel (other than in direct incineration) or other means to generate energy at Subiaco Waste Treatment, Environmental Solutions International, 21 Teddington Road, Burwood, WA.
Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd 4000 07.02.02 Aluminium dross and residues from New Zealand for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Weston Aluminium Pty Ltd, Mitchell Avenue, Weston, NSW.
BHP Billiton Minerals Technology 0.08 25.02.02 Combined jarosite residue sample from Norway for leachate testing at BHP Billiton Minerals Technology, Newcastle Technology Centre, off Vale Street, Shortland, NSW.
Sun Metals Corporation Pty Ltd 1800 19.04.02 Copper cadmium from Queensland for recycling/reclamation of metals and metal compounds at Korea Zinc, 142 NunHyon- Dong, Gangnam-Ku, Seoul, 100-799, Korea.

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