Illegal waste dump complaints double

Nicola KalmarBroome Advertiser

The number of complaints about illegal dumping in Broome has more than doubled in the past two years, according to the latest Shire of Broome figures.

Manager of health, emergency and ranger services Ty Matson said the Shire received nearly 90 reports from the public about rubbish and illegal dumping last year, compared with 41 in 2015.

Of the 89 lodged reports, 33 infringements were issued.

Last week, a resident contacted the Broome Advertiser about large amounts of waste that had been illegally dumped off bush tracks around Six Seasons, Blue Haze and the wider Broome North estate.

One site, which was littered with household items, bottles and cans, trailer parts and car bodies, was located less than 1km from the Broome tip.

Resident Paul Lynch said the eyesore was brought to his attention by his seven-year-old son while they were out riding bikes recently.

Mr Lynch, who has lived in Broome for the past 20 years, said he had never seen so much rubbish dumped in the bush and surrounding areas.

“At this present time, this problem is getting out of control,” he said.

“For the amount of rubbish that has been dumped around Broome, this has become an environmental and safety issue for the people of Broome and needs to be addressed as soon as possible.”

The father-of-two sent a letter to the Shire about the issue and said local authorities needed to be more proactive in tackling the problem.

Mr Matson said Shire rangers carried out patrols of known dumping areas, and when littering occurred, rangers investigated to identify the offender and take appropriate action.

He said if dumping was found on Shire-managed land, a clean-up was organised.

Otherwise, the landowner was notified.

However, Mr Matson said public information about littering was crucial to ensure incidents were responded to in a timely manner.

In this particular case, he said the Shire was notified about a resident’s concerns over rubbish in the Blue Haze/ Broome North areas, but no specific details were provided. He said there was no evidence to suggest dumping was becoming a bigger issue than in the past but it was still an important issue that needed to be addressed.

“Dumping is an issue for everybody so I encourage all residents and businesses to report dumping to the Shire,” he said.

“It is important to ensure that if people are concerned then they pass this information on to the Shire so we can investigate and take the necessary action.”

People caught illegally dumping face litter fines of up to $500, while offenders who are prosecuted face fines of up to $5000 for an individual and $10,000 for businesses.

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