The Litter Act 2007 is Tasmania’s key litter legislation, providing strong anti-littering provisions to:
- prohibit the deposit of litter in the environment;
- regulate the distribution of materials that may become litter; and
- protect and enhance the quality of the natural and urban Tasmanian environments.
- provide increased penalties for dumping of large quantities of waste.
It also provides a legal basis for the Litter Hotline.
The Litter Act substantially came into effect on 26 December 2007 and the remaining provisions came into effect on 17 January 2008. Further amendments came into effect on 2 December 2019 aimed at addressing the illegal dumping of large quantities of waste and enacting new penalties for corporate offenders.
The Litter Act is available online at the Tasmanian Legislation website.
Further information about the Litter Hotline, including forms and FAQs are available.
Provisions of the Litter Act include:
- graded offences for littering by volume
- liability for motor vehicle and motor vessel owners for littering from their vehicles and vessels
- offences for unlawfully affixing documents to vehicles or structures and insecure delivery of unsolicited documents
- the issue of infringement notices
- the issue of litter abatement notices
- the reporting of litter offences
- forfeiture of any vehicle, vessel or trailer used in an offence
- a special penalty equivalent of any monetary benefit received from committing an offence
- offence of damaging, tampering or interfering with a camera being used to detect littering
Regulations made under the Litter Act include:
The Litter Act 2007 replaced the Litter Act 1973, after a review of the latter involving extensive consultation, including an Issues and Options Paper in 2004. An Explanatory Note was released for the purposes of public consultation on the draft Litter Bill in 2006.
Litter Legislation Reform Issues and Options Paper (200Kb)
Explanatory Note Litter Bill Cons Draft (46Kb)
The Litter Act was passed by the Tasmanian Parliament in September 2007. It substantially came into effect on 26 December 2007 and the remaining provisions came into effect on 17 January 2008.
Amendments to remove legal doubt in relation to infringement notices were made in 2009. Further amendments to remove legal doubt and improve the operation of the Act were made in 2010. The latter amendments included the introduction of liability for boat owners for littering from their vessels, similar to the existing liability for motor vehicle operators for littering from vehicles. Responsibility for the implementation of the Act was transferred from the Secretary of the agency to the EPA.
Further amendments took effect on 2 December 2019 to address the dumping of large volumes of waste (such as tyres, asbestos and building waste), with higher penalties for these offences. Fines can be imposed up to 200 penalty units for an individual ($33,600 as at 1 July 2019) or 500 penalty units for a business ($84,000). An offender under this Act could receive an infringement notice or face prosecution in court where, in addition to a fine, the court has the power to order the forfeiture of any vehicle, vessel or trailer used in the commission of the offence and can award a special penalty equivalent to any monetary benefit from the commission of the offence (such as any payment received to lawfully dispose of the waste, or landfill gate fees).