A man who was previously issued with an Environment Infringement Notice (EIN) by the EPA for dumping used tyres in private bushland near Nugent was fined an even larger amount in the Magistrates Court today.
The EPA issued Mr Stephen Arnold with an EIN for $3,260 in November 2018 for illegally dumping a large ute-load of used tyres in September 2018. The tyres had been taken from a Sorell tyre business, which was issued with and paid a related EIN. However Mr Arnold elected a court hearing instead, although he plead guilty to the offence.
The Magistrate found Mr Arnold guilty of breaching Regulation 7(1)(a) of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2010 and fined him $3,500, as well as ordering him to pay Court costs plus any applicable victims of crime levy.
EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford welcomed the Magistrate's decision, including the fine amount set by the Court as it reinforced the appropriateness of the original penalty imposed in the EIN.
“Despite a submission that the original fine was unaffordable, the Magistrate considered the case should act as a deterrent to potential offenders and the cost of tip fees was no excuse for illegal dumping," Mr Ford said.
“The fact that rubbish dumping is prevalent and quite a serious problem in Tasmania, was also a factor in the Court's deliberation," he said.
“The outcome reflects the growing lack of tolerance for this sort of anti-social behaviour in the Tasmanian community," said Mr Ford.
Rubbish dumping in natural areas such as forests, lakes and rivers is a social, economic and environmental problem. Such rubbish can smother vegetation, degrade habitat, pollute waterways with toxic chemicals, introduce weeds, increase bushfire risk, and encourage the establishment of feral animal populations. This can have a significant ecological impact but also greatly reduces the public amenity of the area for the local community, and it is costly to clean up.
Members of the public are encouraged to report rubbish dumping and littering to the EPA by lodging a littering report via the EPA website or calling the Litter Hotline on 1300 135 513 to request a form. The EPA follows up these reports (where the required details of the offence have been provided) in order to issue an Infringement Notice. EPA officers may also assist the land manager (eg Sustainable Timber Tasmania, Parks and Wildlife Service, Crown Land or Local Council) to investigate cases of illegal rubbish dumping.
The public can also make a report about dumped rubbish that needs to be cleaned up, by completing the Report Rubbish online form. This requires details of the location and type of rubbish found and is designed to support land managers in rubbish removal.