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Stop rubbishing our prime fishing spots

24 December 2015

The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has fined two men in separate incidents of dumping rubbish and littering at a popular fishing spot on the River Derwent between Bridgewater and New Norfolk, while a third person is under investigation for rubbish dumping at the same site.

Director of Inland Fisheries, Mr John Diggle said that the rubbishing could affect relationships with the landowner and risk the private property access agreement negotiated by the Inland Fisheries Service (IFS) on behalf of recreational anglers.

“This is a popular local fishing spot – it’s one of a number of Angler Access sites along the river, requiring the landowner’s ongoing agreement for access, and it’s also one of the few places where vehicles can be driven to the water’s edge,” said Mr Diggle.

“While most recreational anglers know that access is a privilege not a right, it’s disappointing that the anti-social behavior of a few individuals might ruin it for the majority of responsible fisherfolk.

“That’s why it’s important to report illegal activities such as dumping of rubbish and littering around our waterways this summer.

EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford said that the illegal dumping consisted of a significant amount of household waste, which included food and sanitary items resulting in a biohazard and posing a potential risk to human health and environmental pollution. It resulted in a fine of $770 while the littering offence, which was for discarding takeaway food packaging from the vehicle window carried a fine of $154.

“The offenders were each issued with a Litter Infringement Notice by the EPA and fined under the Litter Act 2007,” he said.

“The successful prosecutions were a result of the combined investigation effort undertaken between the EPA and the IFS,” said Mr Ford.

Mr Ford said that people should be extra-vigilant over the summer season because of the added risk of rubbish as a source of bushfires and he encouraged people to report littering offenders via the EPA website at www.epa.tas.gov.au/regulation/report-littering

Rubbish dumped at popular fishing spot on the Derwent