Litter fines are a winner, but how do you feel about Halloween?

Genevieve Jacobs 4 November 2019 16

Halloween is increasingly celebrated in Australia, but how do you feel about it? Photo: File.

Some of the polls we run are very close but there are others where RiotACT readers stand united. And that’s the case with last week’s question on littering.

Hot on the heels of drastically increased fines for many kinds of littering, we wanted to know how you felt about the stiff penalties the ACT government has imposed.

Fines for dropping a cigarette butt in the ACT will increase dramatically from $60 to $500 while littering a coffee cup will incur a $150 fine, small-items littering, such as tickets or food wrappings, will incur a $150 fine instead of $60.

The fines for not securing a load on a vehicle or a trailer increase from $500 to $1,500 and for not returning a shopping trolley when directed by an authorised person from $60 to $150.

There is also a framework for escalating offences, where penalties increase according to the volume, mass or nature of litter dumped. Dumping under 10 litres of litter will attract a $500 fine, 10 to 200 litres will attract a $1,000 fine, while 200 to 1000 litres will incur a $1,500 fine.

But the Greens had raised concerns about how the fines would impact the most vulnerable members of the community, voicing concerns for homeless people in particular.

The ACT is dramatically increasing the fines for some kinds of littering including cigarette butts and syringes. Is this a good idea? we asked. A total of 614 votes were recorded.

Your options were No, it’s likely to penalise the homeless and hurt vulnerable people. That option received just 18 per cent support (110 votes). By contrast, you could vote Yes, the city is a mess and littering is antisocial behaviour. Pay up. That was the clear winner with a thundering 82 per cent of the total (or 504 votes).

This week, we’re asking whether you got all spooky with Halloween festivities.

In recent years there’s been a rapid growth in the number of Australians participating in the 31 October fun and games. Houses are draped with cobwebs and ornamented with ghoulish pumpkins, while tribes of children go trick or treating through the suburbs.

But the tradition is unfamiliar enough that it can still be easily met with a total lack of comprehension. While recent research identified Halloween as more popular and easily identified than St Patrick’s Day, there is still plenty of opposition to what many see as the increasing Americanisation of our culture.

Tell us what you think.

Halloween is now reportedly more popular than St Patricks Day. Did you wheel out the skeletons and the pumpkins and get the lollies ready for trick or treating?

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16 Responses to Litter fines are a winner, but how do you feel about Halloween?
Christopher Mawbey Christopher Mawbey 10:49 am 07 Nov 19

A festival of ancestor worship with roots in paganism from before Christianity are not my cup of tea.

Stas Idowu Stas Idowu 9:12 am 07 Nov 19

it's not American.

William William William William 12:37 pm 06 Nov 19

Wast of time money we dont do ok here ?

Carl Ostermann Carl Ostermann 9:23 pm 05 Nov 19

Halloween is for Americans, not Aussies

Chris Ellis Chris Ellis 8:01 pm 05 Nov 19

Re: littering please install cigarette disposals around Canberra Hospital and shopping centres. Smokers are going to smoke so let’s minimise the damage to the environment.

    William William William William 12:41 pm 06 Nov 19

    Chris Ellis i worked there my job was to pick up after the dim wits used the gardens as a Ash trays, 🤔🔥🚬🚬🚬⚰⚰⚰

    Chris Ellis Chris Ellis 7:14 pm 06 Nov 19

    Carl Ostermann what’s hard to understand. Smokers are going to smoke and litter. Let’s make sure there’s no litter. Smoking is their business.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:13 pm 06 Nov 19

    William William And they do make a mess. Photograph taken near Calvary Hospital.

Penny Gordon Penny Gordon 12:52 pm 05 Nov 19

Freedom of choice goes both ways. If people want to participate, good luck to them. But if people choose not to participate, they should not be subjected to the harassment to which some have been subjected.

Paul Dowden Paul Dowden 8:14 am 05 Nov 19

Of all the Americanisation happening to our society I think Halloween is the least of our worries. If I wanted a really scary costume I would dress up as a lobbyist trying to convince the government to make medical insurance part of a remuneration package. 

Milan Vukoja Milan Vukoja 11:07 pm 04 Nov 19

pagan festival, not into it..

Toni Brooks Toni Brooks 9:44 pm 04 Nov 19

I love Halloween but I'm American so 😁

Peter Drady Dradrach Peter Drady Dradrach 9:33 pm 04 Nov 19

American bashing, what's next Xmas? That didn't originate in Australia either.

Callie Elward-Barrett Callie Elward-Barrett 9:21 pm 04 Nov 19

It’s not American! It was taken there by Colonists from the UK

Growing up as a kid in the UK, it was amazing - so many great memories.

    Sarah Boyd Sarah Boyd 9:26 pm 04 Nov 19

    Callie Elward-Barrett - agree!! We love that it brings our local community out into the streets, but I do try to teach the kids that it’s about more than just lollies

Alan Rose Alan Rose 9:18 pm 04 Nov 19

I think it’s the major shopping outlets pushing Halloween. Most of my friends don’t bother with it. They may as well leave all the major holiday events items or all year.

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