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The Minister announced new penalties for illegal dumping.

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Environment Minister Donna Faragher said the State Government's move to introduce tougher penalties for illegal dumping of waste in Western Australia would have a significant impact on those who believed it was acceptable to dump their rubbish illegally. She also encouraged waste reduction and increased recycling as alternatives. 

A new offence under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 would see individuals face tough fines of up to $62,500 or $125,000 for a body corporate. 

Mrs Faragher said the proposed new penalties would have a marked effect on the fight against illegal dumping, which often happened in bushland on the outskirts of cities and towns. 

"Too often, we are forced to deal with unsightly discarded waste on our urban fringes that not only looks disgusting but is also detrimental to the health of our environment," she said. 

"It is time this matter was dealt with seriously, in an effort to protect our national parks and forest areas." 

"Currently fines for dumping are limited to a maximum of $1,000 under the Litter Act where a case for the offence of pollution cannot be made."  

Anecdotal evidence collected by the Department of Environment and Conservation's investigators suggests that illegal dumping is increasing in WA. 

"Unauthorised and inappropriate waste disposal is selfish, inconsiderate, affects all of us and, that it is increasing, is very concerning," the Minister said. 

"This new addition to the Act will strengthen regulatory measures to provide a clear deterrent against illegal dumping and to encourage waste minimisation or recycling as an alternative. 

"I urge anyone dumping waste to think about the consequences for themselves, the environment and the wider community, and consider waste reduction instead. 

"The State Government will not tolerate illegal dumping in WA and we are committed to taking the action necessary to combat it." 

The Keep Australia Beautiful Council has welcomed the move to toughen up on illegal dumping. 

"It is time people who consider it is acceptable to dump their waste in our precious national parks and bush land areas are held accountable," Keep Australia Beautiful Council chairman Mel Hay said. 

Mrs Faragher encouraged anyone with information about illegal dumping to call the Keep Australia Beautiful Hotline on 1300 766 541.

Ref: Talking Rubbish newsletter Issue No. 3 June 2009.