Crackdown on illegally dumped waste on Sunshine Coast

Issued: 4 Apr 2023

Six air conditioners and a washing machine were dumped at Coochin Creek.Open larger image

Six air conditioners and a washing machine were dumped at Coochin Creek.

Household waste in Mapleton Conservation Park.Open larger image

Someone dumped household waste in Mapleton Conservation Park.

A vehicle was removed after being abandoned in Mapleton National Park.Open larger image

A vehicle was removed after being abandoned in Mapleton National Park.

Environmental vandals on the Sunshine Coast are being warned – you will be caught and fined if you dump rubbish in national parks or State forests.

The Department of Environment and Science (DES) is asking for public assistance following the recent discovery of commercial and domestic rubbish in the protected area.

Acting Principal Ranger Nat Smith said rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) have more important work to do that clean up after environmental vandals.

“Queensland’s national parks do not need air conditioning, they are not carparks and they are not rubbish dumps,” Mr Smith said.

“Recently, rangers discovered six air conditioners, a washing machine and other electrical accessories at the Coochin Creek campground and day use area.

“Rangers also discovered household waste including clothes, rubbish and car tyres on Wappa Dam Road in the Mapleton Conservation Park.

“And we removed an abandoned four-wheel-drive and other rubbish from the Mapleton National Park.

“Rangers have determined who owned the vehicle, but we’re asking anyone with information about the Blackall rubbish or anyone who had air conditioners replaced recently to contact us.

“Most people treat national parks and state forests with respect, but the people who dumped this rubbish have created a fire hazard, a pollution hazard and a mess for rangers to clean up.

“If QPWS cannot identify the alleged offender, we have to cover the costs of removing the rubbish, and that is less money we can spend on parks infrastructure to enhance the enjoyment of our visitors.”

Mr Smith said the investigation into the unlawfully dumped waste was continuing, and QPWS would issue Penalty Infringement Notices if those responsible can be identified.

“Rangers have a zero tolerance to people who illegally dump waste and we make no apologies when we take strong enforcement action, which can include court prosecutions,” he said.

“Illegally dumped waste damages the natural and cultural values of our national parks, State forests and reserves, and there is no excuse for it.

“We have a number of investigative techniques that we use to identify offenders, and if people unlawfully dump rubbish to avoid paying the waste disposal fee, they will be caught.”

Anyone with information about illegally dumped waste is encouraged to call the department on the Pollution Hotline 1300 130 372.

Penalties for illegally dumping waste include:




Illegally dump waste less than 2500L – individual



Illegally dump waste less than 2500L – corporation



Illegally dump waste greater than 2500L – individual



Illegally dump waste greater than 2500L – corporation