Illegal dumping crackdown - Townsville

Issued: 17 Oct 2022

Rangers had to remove this barnacle covered car from the reserve.

Rangers had to remove this barnacle covered car from the reserve.

A business received a fine after illegally dumping their waste.

A business received a fine after illegally dumping their waste.

A crackdown and an ongoing investigation into illegal dumping at the Townsville Port Access Reserve has seen alleged offenders remove their own waste and people receive fines.

Senior Conservation Officer Craig Dunk said people who dump rubbish in the reserve have little respect for the environment.

“In the past few months, rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, along with local volunteers, have really gotten our hands dirty by cleaning up other people’s mess,” Mr Dunk said.

“What people do not realise is that rangers and the Department of Environment and Science investigate every instance of illegal dumping at the reserve and across other land managed by QPWS in the wider Townsville region.

“The community shouldn’t have to tolerate illegal dumping, so we conduct thorough, meticulous investigations.

“We routinely receive information from members of the public who provide details including the time and location to the department about illegal dumpers.

“Illegal dumping is a pollution hazard. It can damage the natural and cultural values of an area, can cause injuries to people and wildlife and can also be a fire hazard.”

“Our crackdown on illegal dumping in the Townsville region is making a real difference to the environment, and the community is getting the message that illegal dumping is not tolerated.”

Mr Dunk said Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) had recently been issued to people in the Townsville region for illegal dumping offences.

“These PINs can cost people more than $2000, so we recommend that people take their rubbish to the tip if they want to avoid a fine,” he said.

“At the Townsville Port Access Reserve, rangers and locals have cleaned up rusted car bodies, household rubbish, tyres and even retrieved a barnacle-covered car from Stuart Creek.

“We have also removed a freezer full of rotting food and other contaminants from the reserve, including discarded oil and construction waste.

“One personal grooming business in the Townsville region was advised that waste dumped at the reserve appeared to belong to them.

“The following day, when rangers conducted another inspection of the reserve, the business had removed the waste.

“Rangers and our Litter and Illegal Dumping team take a proactive approach to illegally dumped waste.

“The maximum penalty for illegally dumping waste in Queensland is $2,300 for an individual and up to $10,781 for a company; and the department has issued an expensive fine to a person involved in the illegal dumping.”

Anyone with information about illegally dumped waste in a national park or the Port Access Reserve is encouraged to call the department on the Pollution Hotline 1300 130 372.

Photos of the illegal dumping are available from the media centre.

Find more information about illegal dumping or contact your local council.