Thursday, April 25, 2024

Gympie illegal dumping crackdown pays off

Gympie Regional Council says a crackdown on illegal dumping has led to the clean-up of 125,800 litres of rubbish from 23 sites across the region.

The initiative, which was supported by Department of Environment, Science and Innovation partnered and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, saw staff investigate and enforce cases of illegal dumping.

After seven months, several positive outcomes have been achieved for the local environment and the community, Council said in a statement.

“To date, the program has led to the successful cleanup of 23 sites, totalling 125,800 litres of rubbish removed across the region, with all cleanups undertaken by the identified offenders,” the Council said.

“This approach has resulted in a significant cost saving of an estimated $60,000 for the community as the responsibility for cleanup efforts no longer sits with the council as it had historically.”

Identified hotspots for illegal dumping included state forests, truck stops, and bin clusters throughout the region.

Gympie Regional Council’s Compliance team has issued 14 warnings and 15 penalty infringement notices, totalling $26,674 in fines.  

Manager Compliance for Gympie Regional Council, Daniel Rogers said that since the program commenced, Council has seen a reduction in reported dump sites from an average of 20-30 per month to just 10 during the month of January. 

“Our partnership with Department of Environment, Science and Innovation’s Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and assistance from HQ Plantations has been crucial in identifying and addressing illegal dumping hotspots.”

“Through 24/7 proactive mobile patrols, deployment of surveillance technology and increased signage we are making strides in cracking down on offenders,” he said.

QPWS Ranger in Charge – Gympie, Gary Hearle said the partnership between Gympie Regional Council and Queensland Parks and Wildlife has been very beneficial.

“Illegal dumping impacts on conservation values and exposes visitors and staff to a range of hazards including chemicals and needles. Weed infestations commonly occur from dumped garden refuse and impact on the visual amenity of the parks,” he said.

“QPWS Rangers spend a considerable amount of time removing illegal dumping which is better used to focus on other aspects of park management.”

Penalties for illegal dumping include on-the-spot fines for individuals of up to $3,096, with corporations facing fines of up to $11,610.  

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