Council builds rubbish dump case
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.”