Illegal dumping in the Great Sandy National Park

Issued: 13 Apr 2022

During a routine patrol of the Great Sandy National Park, rangers were dismayed to find a pile of domestic construction waste had been dumped along a firebreak.

Ranger Diane Bowman said Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) rangers found the waste last week in the Cooloola section of the national park and have arranged for it to be removed.

“Someone has had their kitchen replaced and instead of taking the old one to the Rainbow Beach tip, which is a couple of minutes away, they’ve dumped it in the national park,” Ms Bowman said.

“They have made their domestic waste our problem, and we have to clean up the old benches, drawers, the kitchen sink and their old microwave and purple toaster.

“QPWS has launched an investigation into this latest incident of illegal dumping and we’re asking anyone with information to contact the department by calling 1300 130 372.

“Someone may have noticed a full ute with an old kitchen in the rear or a full trailer on the road near the national park, and a kitchen sink is obvious to everyone.

“Or a tradesman may have recently demolished and installed a new kitchen for someone, and the tradesman may have further information that can help our investigation.

“Someone may have noticed a purple toaster in a house or unit in the region, and if you have, please call the department.”

Ms Bowman said the dumping of rubbish in Queensland’s national parks is a serious problem, and there are serious penalties.

“Demolition waste can contain asbestos, which can contaminate the environment and is extremely dangerous to unsuspecting people who visit the national park,” she said.

“It can also contain nails and screws which can cause injury to people and our beautiful animals, and dumped waste is also a serious fire hazard.

“The department takes the issue of illegal dumping very seriously, and if the perpetrators can be identified they can expect a fine.

“Depending on the specific offences involved, fines for illegal dumping range from $2,205 to $10,338 or even higher penalties for matters taken to court.

“I’m also asking campers to clean up their rubbish and take it home with them during the holidays.

“Some campers can disrespect the environment by leaving their rubbish and discarded camping equipment behind, which is also frustrating for rangers and visitors to the park.”

People with information about illegal dumping are urged to contact the Pollution Hotline on 1300 130 372.

View photos and videos of the rubbish in the media centre.