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Health ministry case against Local Government permanent secretary dismissed

Published:Monday | March 30, 2015 | 2:12 PM
In this file photo smoke rises from the Riverton City disposal site.

The case brought by the Health Ministry against Dionne Jennings, the permanent secretary in the Local Government Ministry over the Riverton disposal site fire has been dismissed.

Last week, the Health Ministry revealed that a summons was served on Jennings on March 13 to appear in court for violating an order to have the fire at the dump extinguished in 48 hours.

The fire started on March 11.

Resident Magistrate’s Judith Pusey dismissed the case this morning following submissions from Jennings' lawyer, Peter Champagnie.

He argued that the Health Ministry had no basis for bringing Jennings before the court in relation to the matter.

He said the summons should have been served on the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the body designated to deal with such matters instead.

The NSWMA is under the oversight of Local Government Ministry. 

Champagnie says Jennings cannot be sued in her capacity as permanent secretary. 

The lawyer from the Health Ministry Stacey Joseph agreed with the submissions.

The summons was then withdrawn and the magistrate dismissed the case.