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One week on and Tasmanians are already calling the new Litter Hotline

A small team has worked hard to ensure Tasmania’s new litter laws hotline is up and running - and taking reports from the public.

All provisions, except Division 6 of the new litter laws, came into effect on 26 December 2007, with Division 6 – the public reporting of littering offences - commencing on 17 January 2008.

The Litter Act 2007 establishes new offences and penalties for littering. It also establishes mechanisms for the public to report littering through an online web-based reporting system and a telephone Litter Hotline.

Phase one of the media campaign ‘Look Who’s Littering' focuses on littering on the road by people who toss cigarette butts and other litter from vehicles, or dump rubbish on the roadside and in bushland.

The Litter Hotline came into effect last week and has already received a number of calls.

Up until yesterday, there were 11 calls to Litter Hotline and 9 online lodgements of litter reporting. It is expected the number of reports of littering from vehicles will increase as community awareness grows about the campaign.

Director of Environmental Management Warren Jones said the establishment of the Hotline has been the work of a creative and dedicated team who really pitched in to get the job done.

"To that end staff at the Environment Division, including Annie Beecroft, Carinda Rue, Derek Walter, Rowena Zwart and Maree Bakker, worked above and beyond their normal workload to make sure the deadline was met," Warren said.

"The role of IT has also been outstanding, especially Steve Hayes, Garth Verity, Brian Connolly and Brigitte de Villiers, who were instrumental in the development and design of the reporting system and the litter webpage.

"It has been a multi-dimensional project, not only to educate and inform people about the new laws, but to create and set up the reporting process.

"This is a remarkable achievement in a short timeframe," Warren said.

Information about the new Litter Laws and the Reporting Hotline can be found on the Environment Division website:

www.environment.tas.gov.au/litter

Under the new laws, discarding a cigarette butt can result in an on-the-spot fine of and littering large amounts can attract up to a ,000 court-imposed fine.

People making reports may be required to sign an affidavit or attend a court hearing if necessary. A completed littering report may be followed by a written warning, an infringement notice or where appropriate, prosecution.

"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 ," Warren said.

"Without your name and contact details the Environment 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 and while this can provide useful information about the key types of littering that occurs in Tasmania, it does not ensure that litters are held responsible for their littering."

The Litter Reporting Hotline number is 1300 135 513.