• EPA Tasmania
  • Assesment
  • Regulation & Assessment
  • Sustainability
  • Policy & Legislation

Frequently Asked Questions about Public Reporting of Littering Offences

How Can I Report Littering?

Members of the public can report littering by:

  • completing a printed version of a littering report form and sending it to the EPA Division for processing; or
  • by completing a littering report online at the Reporting Litter page of the EPA website.

Printed copies of 'Littering Associated with a Motor Vehicle' report forms can be obtained from:

  • Litter Telephone Hotline - call 1300 135 513
  • Service Tasmania shop counters
  • Downloaded from the Report Littering page of the EPA website.

I am having trouble downloading a 'Littering associated with a Motor Vehicle' form from the Environment Division website?

Contact the Litter Reporting System computer support by emailing

EnvironmentEnquiries@environment.tas.gov.au

with your problem.

How do I make a report online?

The DPIPWE online Litter Reporting system is accessed from the EPA website.

The online reporting system uses a 4 Step Wizard process to guide the user in completing the report.

  • Step 1: entering of user contact details
  • Step 2: providing information about the offence and the offender through the use of drop down boxes/picklists and minimal entry of text.
  • Step 3: adding other supporting information, such as other witness contact details, and attaching other electronic supporting evidence.
  • Step 4: confirming the report details and accepting the terms and conditions prior to submitting the report. The person making the report must be willing to sign an affidavit. This may be required should the matter be prosecuted in court.

What type of information is required on the reporting form for littering associated with a vehicle?

The report requires certain information about the littering offence, including:

  • vehicle registration number
  • type of vehicle e.g. car, truck, ute
  • description of vehicle - colour, make , model
  • type of littering offence
  • date, time, and place that the offence was committed
  • description of what was seen
  • other relevant information such as other witness, or other documentary evidence such as photos

Not all of this information is mandatory but the more detail provided the better.

The report also requires

  • agreement that the reporter is willing to sign an affidavit
  • understanding from the reporter that they may be required to attend court
  • understanding from the reporter that attendance in court may mean disclosure of his/her name(identity).

Information in the report is subject to protection according to the

  • Personal Information Protection Act 2004, and
  • Right to Infomation Act 2009

At the time of the offence:

  • Keep a small notebook and pen handy on your person or in your vehicle
  • At the time record as much information as possible about the littering offence - who, what, where, when and how?
    * vehicle registration number is key information for littering associated with motor vehicle
  • Keep these notes

When completing the written report or online:

  • Have your notes of the offence at hand to help you with completing the report.
  • Allow sufficient time to complete the report

Can I report littering offences other than littering associated with a motor vehicle?

Yes. All the types of littering provided for in the Litter Act can be reported online, including littering of advertising materials, littering from commercial premises or building sites or from unsecured loads.

However types of littering other than littering associated with a motor vehicle are not always as easy to act upon because the identity of the offender must be established. Under the 'registered owner onus in respect of motor vehicles or trailers' the driver is deemed having committed the offence. This allows action against the driver.

Members of the public can report other types of littering online at the Report Littering page of the EPA website.

Can I lodge a report anonymously?

Without your name and contact details the EPA Division cannot act further on the littering report.

If you report anonymously only a statistical record about the type of littering offence will be kept.

Whilst this can provide useful information about the key types of littering that occurs in Tasmania it does not ensure that litterers are held responsible for their littering.

You are also required to provide your name and contact details to protect against false and incorrect reports.

How much vehicle detail is required?

Providing accurate and sufficient detail assists the Litter Officer with processing the littering report and acting further on the littering report.

At the least the vehicle registration number is required. Additional details of the make and model and colour assist the Litter Officer when checking the vehicle details supplied in the littering report with those in the Motor Vehicle Registry.

I am unsure whether the offender was the driver or the passenger?

Providing accurate and sufficient detail assists the Litter Officer with processing the littering report and in acting further on the littering report.

Under the registered owner onus in respect of motor vehicles or trailers the driver is deemed having committed the offence. If the driver did not commit the offence a statutory declaration can be made nominating the passenger as the offender.

Can I report vehicles registered interstate?

At present no.

Why is a written report required?

A written littering report is required to enable the EPA Division to act upon the observed littering offence in a legal and fair manner.

The report also requires certain information about the littering offence, including:

  • type of littering offence
  • date, time, and place that the offence was committed
  • description of what was seen
  • name of person if known or information leading to the identification of the person i.e. vehicle registration or trailer registration (if applies)
  • other relevant information such as other witness, or other documentary evidence such as photos

The report also requires:

  • agreement that the reporter is willing to sign an affidavit
  • understanding from the reporter that they may be required to attend court
  • understanding from the reporter that attendance in court may mean disclosure of his / her name (identity)

Information in the report is subject to protection according to

  • Personal Information Protection Act 2004, and
  • Right to Information Act 2009

These requirements are designed to prevent false or incorrect reports. Providing a false or misleading littering report is an offence with current fine of up to $1300.

How do you know that the littering report is not malicious?

To minimise the risk of vexatious reporting thorough assessment of the littering report is undertaken before an infringement notice is issued.

In addition, if the registered operator was not the person responsible for the offence, then a statutory declaration can be completed within 28 days of receiving the infringement notice.

It is an offence to provide false or misleading information.

How much time do I have to lodge the littering report?

To enable& the EPA Division to process reports promptly, reports should be submitted within seven days of the offence.

What is an affidavit and why do I need to be willing to sign it?

An affidavit is a written statement of evidence similar to a statutory declaration but where the witness has sworn or affirmed the statement to be true in the presence of an authorised witness. It may be used as a substitute for oral evidence in court.

The purpose of administering an oath or affirmation is to emphasis the seriousness of the requirement that evidence given will be the truth. Providing false or misleading information is an offence.

An affidavit should be recorded on the appropriate form and include:

  • your full name, address and occupation
  • full details of your evidence i.e. submitted littering report and other supporting evidence that has been provided

An Affidavit form is available on the Magistrates Court website.

Information about persons authorised to witness an affidavit is available in section 2 of the Justices Guide. Information about affidavits can also be found in section 1.3 of the Guide.

Contact details for Justices of the Peace can also be obtained by telephoning the Legal Aid Commission on 1300 366 611.

What happens after a littering report for 'Littering Associated with a Motor Vehicle' is sent to the EPA Division or is submitted online?

The complainant details, the offence and offender details of the written or the electronic report are checked by the Litter Officer in the EPA Division.

If the vehicle description registered in the Motor Vehicle Registry does not match the description in the littering report, no further action will be taken.

If the details do match, an Infringement Notice is issued to the vehicle's registered owner.

If the registered owner of the vehicle was not the person who littered then the statutory declaration (on the back of the Infringement Notice) can be completed and sent to the EPA Division.

The statutory declaration:

  • nominates either the driver of the vehicle at the time or the passenger who deposited the litter; or
  • provides other supporting documentary evidence to show that the registered owner did not commit the offence

The statutory declaration should note who was in charge of the vehicle and the location of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence.

If the statutory declaration is accepted:

  1. The Infringement Notice is withdrawn from the person who submitted the statutory declaration, and
  2. A new Infringement Notice is issued to the nominated offender

If the statutory declaration is not accepted then the Infringement Notice is reissued to the original offender / person who submitted the statutory declaration.

Why do I need to complete a statutory declaration?

Under the 'registered owner onus in respect of motor vehicles or trailers' the driver is deemed to have committed the offence.

If the driver did not commit the littering offence a statutory declaration can be made and sent to the EPA Division. The statutory declaration either nominates the driver in charge of the vehicle at the time of the offence and the location of the vehicle or the passenger who committed the offence.

If you believe that you did not commit the offence, you can provide a statutory declaration along with supporting evidence. Details of who was in charge and the location of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence must be included.

An information factsheet that explains the statutory declaration process is included with the litter Infringement Notice.

Where do I go to get an authorised person to witness my statutory declaration?

A statutory declaration relating to an Infringement Notice must in all instances be signed by an authorised person.

Authorised persons include for example Police Officer, Justice of the Peace, Commissioner for Declarations, Barrister or Solicitor, Member of the Parliament, Bank Manager, School Principal, prescribed Public Servant, or any other person authorised to witness Statutory Declarations.

Contact details for Justices of the Peace can also be obtained by telephoning the Legal Aid Commission on 1300 366 611.

Further information is available on the Department of Justice website.

What happens if I need to go to court?

You will be required to attend court if the littering offence is prosecuted in court.

The Litter Officer from the EPA Division would contact you to advise that you are requested to attend court and the date of the hearing and before the hearing to confirm your evidence.

Detailed information about attending court as a witness is available on the Magistrates Court website.

Who has access to my personal details?

Your personal details - your name, address and contact details - will be managed in accordance with the Personal Information Protection Act 2004.

The Personal Information Protection Statement - Public Reporting of Littering Offences outlines how the personal information you have provided will be used.

You should also be aware that the littering report is used as the basis for issuing a fine to the person that deposited the litter. In some cases, the offender may wish to exercise their right to have the matter heard in court, at which time you will be contacted to discuss the matter further. As part of the court proceedings, you will be required to give evidence at which time you would have to identify yourself.

Incident Response Officer
134 Macquarie Street
Hobart TAS 7000
Phone: 1800 005 171
Email: incidentresponse@environment.tas.gov.au‚Äč