Il­le­gal dump­ing wast­ing com­mu­nity funds

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE -

For­est Fire Man­age­ment Vic­to­ria (FFMVic) has iden­ti­fied an in­crease in the il­le­gal dump­ing of po­ten­tially haz­ardous com­mer­cial waste and house­hold rub­bish as a ma­jor con­cern for pub­lic land across the north east re­gion.

Re­cently, al­most 200 used fire ex­tin­guish­ers were found dumped near the Chiltern-Mt Pilot Na­tional Park.

In the past few months for­est of­fi­cers have re­sponded to more than 20 re­ports of il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing in our parks and forests.

Alarm­ingly, a num­ber of the in­ci­dents in­volved the dump­ing of as­bestos and other po­ten­tially dan­ger­ous waste that ap­pears to be as­so­ci­ated with com­mer­cial busi­nesses.

Hume’s As­sis­tant Chief Of­fice, Aaron Kennedy said: “Peo­ple who dump rub­bish in our forests have no re­gard for the health and safety of oth­ers or the en­vi­ron­ment.

“These ac­tions are putting the com­mu­nity at risk, which is un­ac­cept­able.

“Il­le­gal dumpers are be­com­ing more and more cun­ning, and the vol­umes of waste they are dump­ing is in­creas­ing.

“We were also forced to tem­po­rar­ily close a pop­u­lar road­side rest stop in Edi, af­ter a large amount of as­bestos sheet­ing was found down a dis­used well.”

Mr Kennedy said the cost of re­mov­ing rub­bish and waste from for­est ar­eas was in the tens of thou­sands of dol­lars across the re­gion each year.

“This money should be spent on other things the com­mu­nity re­quires like im­prov­ing ac­cess tracks and recre­ational fa­cil­i­ties,” Mr Kennedy said.

The dump­ing of house­hold or in­dus­trial waste on a site that is not li­censed to ac­cept it is an of­fence un­der the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Act 1970 and can at­tract a fine of up to $6,342 if the case goes to court.

On the spot fines ap­ply for lit­ter­ing, start­ing at $317.

If you see waste dumped in the bush or aban­doned on pri­vate land, re­port it to EPA by call­ing 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

To re­port en­vi­ron­men­tal crime on pub­lic land con­tact DELWP on 136 186 or to Crimestop­pers on 1800 333 00.

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