Tyres dumped on Rio Tinto Pilbara site

An earthmoving contractor in WA has been fined for his responsibility in the dumping of 700 used tires on a Rio Tinto property at Paraburdoo.

56-year-old Heydon Charles McKenzie was contracted by the Shire of Ashburton in April 2013 to remove tyres from dump sites at Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Onslow, and dispose of them at a licensed facility in Meekatharra.

Depsite being paid $50,000 by the Shire of Ashburton, McKenzie was found to have sub-contracted the job and told the contractor to dump the tyres on a Rio Tinto mine site.

MacKenzie was fined $8831 by the Tom Price Magistrates Court, to be paid to the Shire of Ashburton to cover the cost of tyre removal.

ABC reported it was unclear whether McKenzie had repaid the $50,000.

Department of Environment Regulation director of environmental enforcement Tony Potts said the case was investigated over a number of months.

"It is quite reprehensible at the end of the day, this is a fairly pristine bushland location albeit there is some activity around the area it's not the right thing to do," he said.

Potts said that since the initial dumping others had started disposing of their tyres at the localtion, a disturbing trend given recent bushfires in the Tom Price area.

"The problem with tyres is that they can be set alight and cause significant further emissions into the atmosphere and cause the bushfires," he said.

"If there was a bushfire in the area and they became ignited the emissions would be harmful."

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