More than 100 reports of littering have been made to Tasmania’s new litter hotline, with cigarette butts being thrown from cars being the most frequently reported offence.
The Minister for the Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts, Michelle O’Byrne, said steps to prosecute these litterers are already underway.
New litter laws were introduced in Tasmania late last year and the Litter Hotline was established as part of the Look Who’s Littering –On the Road campaign in mid-January.
The Look Who’s Littering – On the Road campaign focuses on people who toss cigarette butts and other litter from vehicles or dump rubbish on the roadside and in the bush.
Over the past few months, more than 100 littering offences have been reported across Tasmania.
The littering offences reported via the telephone and internet hotline are being processed by the Environment Division in the Department of Environment, Parks, Heritage and the Arts.
A high percentage of littering in Tasmania occurs from vehicles and the litter hotline empowers anyone in the community to be able to report a litterer’s vehicle registration number.
The penalties to be imposed from littering fines start at for offences such as flinging a small single item such as cigarette butt or ATM receipt. Littering large amounts can attract up to a ,000 court-imposed fine.
It is intended that infringement notices will be issued under the new Monetary Penalties Enforcement Act.
Thorough follow-up procedures are in place to act as a safeguard against malicious reports. People making reports must be prepared to attend court, and may be required to sign an affidavit if the case is heard in court.
A completed ‘littering report’ can be followed up by a written warning, an infringement notice or, where appropriate, prosecution.
This type of reporting system has operated successfully interstate as a method to prevent and reduce littering associated with motor vehicles.
Tasmania Police, the Parks and Wildlife Service and local government are also empowered to issue on-the-spot fines relating to the new litter laws.
You can report a littering offence via the Litter hotline number on 1300 135 513 or by visiting www.environment.tas.gov.au/litter to report littering online.