Coun­cil builds rub­bish dump case

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News - BY COLIN MACGILLIVRAY

Hor­sham Ru­ral City Coun­cil of­fi­cials hope to pros­e­cute res­i­dents of a Creek Cres­cent ad­dress sus­pected of il­le­gally dump­ing rub­bish into the Wim­mera River.

The coun­cil said it had re­cov­ered sev­eral bags of rub­bish that had ap­par­ently been dumped in the river from the River­side Road bridge.

Coun­cil com­mu­nity safety unit act­ing co-or­di­na­tor Jeremy Dean said in­ves­ti­ga­tors had iden­ti­fied sev­eral items of rub­bish that had orig­i­nated from one Creek Cres­cent ad­dress.

He con­firmed in­ves­ti­ga­tors had spo­ken to one per­son not liv­ing at the ad­dress in re­la­tion to the dump­ing and planned to speak with at least three more peo­ple.

He urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward.

“We’re still ap­peal­ing for any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward. They can do it anony­mously if they need to,” he said.

“We’d love to hear from peo­ple if they know any­thing about it.”

Mr Dean said the coun­cil was hope­ful it could pros­e­cute the of­fend­ers if the in­ves­ti­ga­tion yielded enough in­for­ma­tion.

The max­i­mum penalty for the il­le­gal dump­ing of rub­bish is more than $16,000 if the mat­ter is pros­e­cuted in the Mag­is­trate’s Court.

“There are still more peo­ple who need to be spo­ken to and then we will put a file to­gether that will be re­viewed by other of­fi­cers within coun­cil as to whether a pros­e­cu­tion is vi­able or not,” Mr Dean said.

“If we can get the ev­i­dence, we will be look­ing to pros­e­cute.”

Mr Dean said the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was

“We are still ap­peal­ing for any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward. They can do it anony­mously if they need to” – Jeremy Dean

be­ing con­ducted with the guid­ance of the En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion Au­thor­ity.

“The EPA has given us ad­vice on cer­tain as­pects of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion,” he said.

“They are the lead agency when it comes to deal­ing with com­mer­cial dump­ing of rub­bish, but they’re still happy to be in­volved with an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of this size as well, which is good.

“It’s been good to co-op­er­ate with them and make use of their re­sources, be­cause they ob­vi­ously have a much big­ger bud­get com­pared to ours.”

EPA north west re­gion man­ager Paul Rata­jczyk con­firmed the or­gan­i­sa­tion had been guid­ing the coun­cil through its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He said il­le­gal rub­bish dump­ing had a se­ri­ous im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, and af­fected all nearby res­i­dents.

“Il­le­gal dumpers typ­i­cally tar­get the Vic­to­rian bush or re­mote farm­land when they are dump­ing loads of rub­bish, and EPA en­cour­ages any­one en­joy­ing the bush around Hor­sham to re­port any dump­ing sites they find,” he said.

“Dump sites of­ten in­clude con­struc­tion and de­mo­li­tion waste, haz­ardous ma­te­ri­als such as as­bestos and house­hold rub­bish.

“A large per­cent­age of those ma­te­ri­als should have been re­cy­cled, in­stead of spoil­ing a nice spot in a park or by the lo­cal river.”

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