Our Brave Leader is really settling into his new role as Mayor of Canberra heading up the Department of Territory and Municipal services.
Firstly he’s getting tough on event organisers leaving their signs around town:
- The Crimes (Bill Posting) Amendment Bill 2008 will require event organisers to take reasonable steps to ensure their event is not promoted with illegal bill posters or face fines of up to $10,000 for an individual and up to $50,000 for a corporation. On-the-spot fines of $200 will be issued by the Police or the City Rangers to people caught illegally bill-posting.
“Illegal bill-posting is an unsightly act of vandalism where businesses take some commercial benefit from using private or government structures to display their advertising,” Mr Stanhope said. “Around 2000 bill posters are removed each year from public buildings, street furniture and light poles throughout the ACT.
“For the first time, under this legislation, event organisers and promoters will face penalties for encouraging or hiring others to engage in illegal bill posting to advertise their events. No longer will they be able to say that they were not responsible for posters placed on their behalf.
Sounds good to me (hint to event organisers, buy an ad with us instead, no mess no fuss, no fines), but he’s not done yet. Having walked in on the illegal asbestos dump in Bruce he’s cracking down on illegal dumpers too:
- The Dangerous Substances and Litter (Dumping) Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 amends the Litter Act 2004 to give the Government greater power to act quickly to clean up illegally dumped waste and to recover the costs for waste removal and landscape rehabilitation.
The Bill doubles the penalty for aggravated littering – littering likely to injure people or animals or to damage property – to $10,000 for an individual and or imprisonment for one year and up to $50,000 for a corporation.
Three new offences target the dumping of large quantities of litter, including waste soil, builder’s rubble, old appliances and whitegoods.
“The ACT Government believes the community should not have to bear the environmental and financial costs of illegal dumping,” Mr Stanhope said. “The illegal dumping of waste is a criminal offence that shows a blatant disregard for public health, the environment and the look of our city.
“Individuals or companies that dump large amounts of waste inappropriately face tough penalties under this new legislation, including fines, clean-up costs and the loss of the vehicle used for dumping.
“Labor recognises that illegally dumped waste and in particular dangerous waste such as asbestos, poses many risks to the community and we are taking the necessary action to target those responsible.”
The recent removal of asbestos contaminated waste dumped on public land in Belconnen cost the ACT Government $85,000 in contracting fees and $250,000 in landfill costs. The site has been cleared of contaminated materials with ongoing rehabilitation works planned. This matter is currently under investigation.
Maybe use the increased fine revenue (assuming there is effective enforcement) to reduce tip fees if we’re serious about tackling the problem?