Extending the range of alternative sentencing orders: it's time to stop the business of pollution and waste offending
Part 8.3 of the Protection of the Environment Opera- tions Act 1997 (NSW) (POEO Act) contains a number of alternative sentencing orders (ASOs) that can be imposed on pollution and waste offenders in addition to, or as an alternative to, fines and, if applicable, imprisonment (s 244). ASOs include options such as restoration or prevention orders, environmental payments and projects, publication orders, environmental audits, training orders, monetary benefit orders and orders to pay a regulatory authority's investigation costs and expenses. The Land and Environment Court of NSW (LEC) regularly imposes some of these types of ASOs when sentencing offenders, principally environmental payment orders, publication orders and orders to pay investigation costs and expenses. ASOs provide the LEC with the ability to integrate restorative and preventative approaches into a sentenc- ing package, rather than simply imposing a fine which becomes part of consolidated revenue. Despite the benefits of the existing ASOs, the available orders in the POEO Act now lag behind other jurisdictions and NSW legislation which have additional ASOs available. This article considers two types of orders which could poten- tially be included within the POEO Act: prohibition (or banning) orders and supervisory orders. The article begins by briefly considering some recent case examples which highlight why the availability of further ASOs might be useful in other cases in the future. It then examines prohibition and supervisory orders in more detail.