An asbestos removal company has been convicted and fined for misusing the logo of Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) on its business stationery and website.

Asbestos Australia Pty Ltd and its director Tom Visal Clappers each pleaded guilty to one charge of falsely suggesting that asbestos removal services were approved by EPA, in contravention of section 59B(c) of the Environment Protection Act 1970.

The Hallam based company was convicted and fined $2,500 and ordered to pay EPA’s prosecution costs in the amount of $813.46 while Mr Clappers was fined $1,000 without conviction.

During sentencing Dandenong Magistrate Gregory Connellan reminded the company and Mr Clappers that EPA was a regulatory agency responsible for setting and enforcing industry standards.

Magistrate Connellan said that given the seriousness of the offence, he saw it fit to record a conviction against the company despite it being the company’s first offence.

EPA’s Principal Solicitor Guy Ventrice said the fines and conviction served as a reminder that courts will take a dim view of anyone who misuses the logo of EPA for their own commercial benefit.

Asbestos Australia was given several opportunities to stop displaying the EPA logo on its website and any related advertising or business documents before enforcement action was taken.

EPA Executive Director Mark Rossiter said EPA’s name and logo is well known and trusted across the Victorian community, and EPA is prepared to take decisive action against any person who falsely suggests an affiliation with EPA.

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