Ramsey Food Processing is a licensed abattoir with holding pens, cattle rendering and processing plant located in South Grafton. Being an abattoir it has extensive wastes and a waste water treatment system. It was this system that leaked via a broken underground pipeline. What was agreed, was that an underground pipe split for 3.5 meters underground. What was disputed was the amount of untreated effluent, prior to the treatment ponds, which leaked to the creek which flowed through the property. Management of the site considered the spill did not make it to the creek. Hence they delayed reporting the spill until the next day.
In sentencing the Judge fined the company $50,000 for water pollution offences under s120 of the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997. In addition for failing to report the pollution incident an $80,000 fine was also imposed. In setting these fines the judge was mindful that the defendant was also to incur approximately $200,000 in legal bills. So care was taken with the fines as to not bankrupt the company and its owners.