Regulations and policies have been implemented to protect the environment in the New South Wales, these are policed by the government agencies. It is an offence to break these laws and can carry serious penalties in the form of on the spot fines.

You and your employees must be aware of these laws and penalties. You must take all reasonable care not to harm the environment. The Protection of the Environment Operations Act (POEO) came into effect on the 1st July 1999 and has consolidated the earlier Acts:


  • Clean waters Act 1970
  • Clean Air Act 1961
  • Noise Control Act 1975
  • Pollution Control Act 1970
  • Environmental Offences and Penalties Act 1989
  • Regulatory sections of Waste Minimisation and Management Act 1995

The POEO Act is focused on environmental management and since it came into effect, local councils now hold increased powers in relation to environmental management in their local area.

It is the responsibility of owner-builder and builders to prevent sediment and construction wastewater from leaving their building site. An on the spot fine of $1500 will be imposed where pollution has the potential to, or has entered the drains, in addition a administration fee of $320 may also be charged.