The State Government is cracking down on illegal dumping and littering and has provided $100,000 to Bundaberg Regional Council as part of a pilot partnership program to combat this issue.
“The funding is helping the Council employ an extra two people on the ground to investigate and respond to illegal dumping in the region,” Ms Enoch said.
“Illegal dumping costs Queensland communities millions of dollars each year in management and clean-up expenses, and the government is ensuring councils have the resources needed to protect their communities and the environment.
“This program comes on top of the extra compliance officers across Queensland that have been ensuring businesses are doing the right thing when it comes to waste management, following the introduction of the waste levy on July 1.
“Queensland is currently fighting the war on waste and the Palaszczuk Government is ensuring our communities are equipped to improve waste management.”
From today, other councils across Queensland are also able to apply for grants to help fund extra frontline jobs to combat illegal dumping.
“This program will provide up to $2 million over two years in grants to help local government through targeted training and support programs, boost intelligence and data reporting on illegal dumping activities,” Ms Enoch said.
City of Gold Coast, Bundaberg Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council and Townsville City Council were selected as partners in the initial pilot program because of high numbers of illegal dumping reports, dumping in built-up areas close to sensitive environmental areas, capacity to increase illegal dumping compliance activity and a demonstrated commitment to achieving compliance outcomes.
Ms Enoch said this new program was part of a suite of initiatives that the Government was implementing to improve waste management in Queensland.
“Queensland is generating waste faster than we are growing population, and this Strategy is showing the path forward on how we can reduce waste, increase recycling, cut greenhouse gas emissions and protect our environment,” she said.
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said Council was pleased to be part of the partnership trial as illegal dumping had a big impact on the natural environment as well as on ratepayers in clean-up costs.
“The impact of illegal dumping on the Fraser Coast can range from an aesthetic nuisance to environmental harm to flora, fauna and wildlife depending on the type of waste,” he said.
“We live in such a beautiful place abundant with wildlife and our message is simple – don’t rubbish our region.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey thanked the State Government for its partnership approach.
“There is no excuse for illegal dumping. People who do this are harming the environment and causing distress for neighbours and visitors to natural areas,” he said.
“It’s important we minimise waste to landfill but everyone must act responsibly in accordance with the law.”
There are fines that apply for illegal dumping, depending on the circumstances, including amounts up to $667,250 for corporations that are found to be illegally dumping waste.
More information about the Government's Waste Management and Resource Recovery Strategy is available online.