The Supreme Court of Western Australia has ordered Sydney-based spill kit manufacturer Spill Station and AusSpill Association to stop representing to customers that certain guidelines designed by its members are in fact Australian Standards, until civil proceedings alleging misleading and deceptive conduct can be heard.
One of the spill industry’s largest spill equipment manufacturers, Global Spill Control Pty Ltd, successfully sought an interim injunction from the Supreme Court, arguing that Spill Station and AusSpill Association were misleading potential spill kit buyers into believing that the AusSpill guidelines for its members was an official standard.
AusSpill describes its ASCIS2695 for spill kits as the ‘Australian Industry Standard’ even though no Australian Standards for spill kits exist.
Her Honour Justice Smith restrained Spill Station, its CEO Nathan Cartwright, and AusSpill from representing that there is an Australian Standard, Industry Standard or Australian Industry Standard for spill kits.
“We are pleased that based on the evidence provided to date Her Honour has prevented Spill Station and AusSpill from continuing to peddle this misinformation until our action proceeds to trial,” said Global Spill Director Brad Lowson.
“It is our strong view that the claims made by the defendants are misleading, deceptive, and false. Spill kit users may have been misled into buying certain spill kits in the mistaken belief that they were superior because they met an Australian standard when no such standard exists. We look forward to providing that evidence in a trial.”
Global Spill manufactures spill kits and spill equipment at its Melbourne-based manufacturing plant and employs more than 100 people. Its kits are blue for general purpose, yellow for oil and fuel, and red for hazardous chemicals.
The AusSpill guidelines suggested spill kits be housed in a ‘lime green’ bin.
“Quick action is paramount if a spill occurs and confusion between an ordinary rubbish bin and a green spill kit could mean the difference between containment and severe environmental consequences,” Mr Lowson said.
“We consider it to be a recipe for disaster to demand manufacturers to colour their kits similar to a domestic rubbish bin.”
The matter has yet to be listed for trial in the WA Supreme Court.