Residents intervene after ‘grubs’ dump rubbish
Furious with “grubs” who illegally dump rubbish around Parkhurst, four-wheel-drive enthusiasts are speaking out and taking matters into their own hands to fix the problem.
Born and bred in Rockhampton, Frenchville resident Adam Reynolds said illegal dumping had always been a problem in North Rockhampton but he was gobsmacked after last week coming across a massive dump site on McLaughin St, near the water tower and QMAG.
Outraged, he shared shocking images of the dumpsite on social media saying it was “bloody disgusting”, drawing a chorus of condemnation for the culprits.
“It made me feel disgusted and disappointed in some of the locals that think it’s all right to illegal dump when it’s not,” Mr Reynolds said.
He said the dumping was taking place along McLaughin St where it was too difficult for council trucks to access.
“I submitted photos to council half way through last year and they sent out a truck which cleaned out one area where the illegal dumping was, but (the rubbish) was in multiple areas where you can’t get a truck in,” he said.
As a member of the CQ 4x4 Adventures group, Mr Reynolds said it was this sort of bad behaviour that led to track access being locked off for enthusiasts.
He said their group had organised several clean-ups around the region, encouraging people to take spare bags on their drives to collect rubbish they found along the way.
After seeing images dumped rubbish, a posse of four-wheel-drivers headed out to fill six bags of rubbish but unfortunately it barely scratched the surface of the problem.
They planned to chat with the council to report the latest rubbish and offer to help out with the rubbish collection in inaccessible areas and if they could be provided dump vouchers to compensate for properly disposing of the rubbish.
Locals have suggested increased survelance, free dump days, council conducting bulk kerbside collection days or setting up a Parkhurst waste transfer station.
Rockhampton Regional Council on illegal dumping
Spokesperson for Waste and Recycling Councillor Shane Latcham said there was no excuse for the illegal dumping of waste.
“It’s a selfish decision that impacts ratepayers across the region who in this instance now have to wear the cost to have this waste removed and disposed of properly,” Cr Latcham said.
“We know a lot more waste is produced over the holiday season where some families may end up with unwanted items and others spend time cleaning up around their homes and backyards.
“We urge the community to take advantage of the services that are available and to dispose of their waste responsibly. Thankfully the majority do the right thing but it’s extremely disappointing that there are some people in our community who think the rules don’t apply to them.”
Spokesperson for Local Laws Councillor Ellen Smith said the matter would be investigated.
“If people think they can continue to get away with illegal dumping they need to think again,” said Cr Smith.
“Our Local Laws officers are committed to investigating incidents like this, and will issue serious fines to offenders.
“If you see it, report it and that will help us to stop it. Illegal dumping is a crime and everyone has a role in keeping the Rockhampton Region tidy.
“If you have any information about this incident, or if you’ve witnessed any other examples of illegal dumping, please get in touch with Customer Service.
“If you see someone littering or illegally dumping or if you find piles of dumped waste please report it.”
Use the online Littering and Illegal Dumping Reporting Form, the Snap Send and Solve mobile app or call Rockhampton Regional Council’s Customer Service Centre on 4932 9000.
Illegal dumping fines can be upwards of $2135 for individuals and $6672 for corporations.
Queensland Government cracking down on dumpers
A Department of Environment and Science (DES) spokesperson said there was a 24-hour Pollution Hotline allowing the public to report environmental incidents, including illegal dumping.
“The department also provides a Littering and Illegal Dumping Online Reporting System (LIDORS) allowing members of the public to directly report littering and illegal dumping matters for investigation,” the spokesperson said.
“DES has a dedicated Littering and Illegal Dumping Compliance Operations (LIDCO) team responsible for investigation and enforcement of illegal dumping offences statewide.
“The department has not received a public report in relation to this incident.”
Illegal dumping reports have been on the rise in recent years across the state.
DES has received more reports, undertaken more investigations and issued more enforcement action during 2019-20 than ever before.
“DES has administered more than $5 million in grant funding to local governments across Queensland, through both the Illegal Dumping Hotspots Program and the Local Government Illegal Dumping Partnerships Program, to assist local governments in combating illegal dumping,” they said.
“This includes $3.6 million in grant funding to local governments to employ dedicated illegal dumping compliance officers to investigate and enforce illegal dumping offences in the regions.
“The Rockhampton Regional Council received more than $54,000 in the Illegal Dumping Hotspot Grants program to target hot spots and more than $164,000 through the Illegal “Dumping Partnerships Program to cover 12 months of monitoring and preventive activities targeting illegal dumping.”
Members of the public can call the Pollution Hotline to report litter and illegal dumping: 1300 130 372.