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The New Sheriff is going to clean up this town

By johnboy - 10 December 2008 6

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.

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Maybe use the increased fine revenue (assuming there is effective enforcement) to reduce tip fees if we’re serious about tackling the problem?

What’s Your opinion?


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6 Responses to
The New Sheriff is going to clean up this town
TheScientist 2:33 pm 10 Dec 08

“No longer will they be able to say that they were not responsible for posters placed on their behalf.”

so if there was a company i didn’t like, i could post posters around the place, expect to receive a $200 fine if caught, and they stand to be charged $50,000 for the pleasure?

Tonka 12:48 pm 10 Dec 08

Glad to see they’re focused on the real issues like bill postering and they’re ignoring all those little crimes like drugs, car theft and break and enter etc.

Boy am I relieved.

tylersmayhem 10:16 am 10 Dec 08

So does this mean that the lazy and cheap pricks who dumped all the crap in Bruce will actually be tracked down and fined large amounts, instead of our tax dollars going towards cleaning upo a mess that builders and developers are too cheap and lazy to take to the tip?!

AG Canberra 9:42 am 10 Dec 08

Stnahope is just reinforcing the perception that he’s a Mayor – and that all we need is a City Council…

Gungahlin Al 9:37 am 10 Dec 08

“Effective enforcement” and “ACT Government” used in the same sentence? Ha!

There is only one thing that gets effect enforcement in this town – car parking.

If the car parking model was used for all the other problems like dud EERs, waste from building sites, water pollution, lease construction timeline conditions, DA conditions, usurping footpaths with runaway hedges, and so much more, then this would be a hell of a lot nicer town to live in.

54-11 9:24 am 10 Dec 08

Sonic is right that the cost of illegal dumping is high, not just in terms of rehabilitation but also health and amenity. However, as you point out, JB, there is no effective enforcement, and when residents advise TAMS or whoever of any dumping, action is far too late to identify the culprit and rectification rarely occurs. Often it is just left in situ.

I’m not sure that high tip fees is necessarily at fault – anyone that is that ignorant to dump building or large amounts of household waste on public land are the types that would do this regardless of whether tip fees were reduced. I guess if there were no fees at all, and the tip open 24/7, and there was a tip in every neighbourhood, then perhaps…

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