Watchdog’s teeth to be sharpened

A RANGE of new measures will strengthen the state’s environment watchdog, including a proposed tenfold increase in penalties for companies that breach environment protection licenses.

The proposed changes include increasing fines for the 10 most serious environmental offences from $1500 to $15,000 for a corporation and from $750 up to $7500 for an individual; the introduction of risk-based licensing from July 1, 2015; and giving the Land and Environment Court alternative approaches to sentences, including the ability to set restorative justice actions that will benefit the environment and the victims of environmental incidents.