Heavy equipment operators who operate the nation’s biggest oil pipelines will have to pay their fines within a week after a court ruling that the operators violated state regulations.
The Court of Appeals of the State of Victoria ruled that operators of the nations largest oil pipelines should have to give a full accounting of the cost of their operation to their customers, and pay out their fines.
Read more:Victorian Court of Appeal rules heavy equipment operators must pay full amount of fines over ‘disregard’ of state regulations article The ruling, issued last week, followed a decision by the Victorian Court of Disputed Returns to set aside the judgment of the Victorian Commissioner of Transport.
The decision came after the Victorian State Court ruled the operators of Western Distributor Pipelines and Enbridge Line 2 to the South West Powerline should pay $10 million in fines over the contraventions.
In its decision, the Victorian state court said that the operator’s actions had been negligent and the company had not properly explained how it could justify its costs.
“This is not a decision to make lightly,” the court wrote.
“In considering the costs and risks to the public and the environment, the court must be guided by the requirements of the law.”
The decision will allow the operators to continue operating under the existing rules for a period of up to four years.
Victoria’s Commissioner of Public Works and Government Services, Michael Wood, said the decision meant the state was moving in the right direction.
“We are pleased the court agreed the companies’ conduct breached a significant provision of the Highway Code, which requires that any operator operating a hazardous operation of this nature must have a cost and risk assessment,” Mr Wood said.
“The decision does not affect the current compliance regime in place with the state’s major rail infrastructure and will allow us to move forward with a much more thorough, detailed and comprehensive cost and environmental assessment.”
He said the state had no intention of rolling back the decision, and it was likely the decision would be appealed.
“Our objective is to continue the clean-up and safety of the industry, and this decision is only one step in that direction,” he said.
“The Victorian Government will take the necessary steps to make sure this never happens again.”
While the decision does take us a long way, we are hopeful the court will be able to make the right decision for the public good.
“Mr Wood said the company would not have been able to comply with the requirement for cost and safety analysis if it had been in a state of emergency.
Mr Wood warned that the company may face an uphill battle to comply.”
What we are trying to do is find a way to do a good job in this environment and make sure we don’t do something that is really detrimental to the environment,” he stated.
He said they had already taken steps to address the impact of the court decision, including the construction of a dedicated truck to transport oil to the company’s tankers.”
A dedicated truck has been commissioned for the time being to be used in the event that oil spills occur, and the truck is not to be transported to the tanker by an operator,” he explained.”
If the tanker is damaged, then that truck is also not to move from that location to the oil tanker.
“Read more about Victorian state of affairs:The Victorian state government had defended its decision to take enforcement action against the company, saying the court’s decision was a necessary measure to address breaches of state law.”
It is not an appropriate time to seek a final judgement, but we have a duty to ensure that the people of Victoria are protected,” Mr Daley said.