The Victorian Coalition Government has undertaken a major clean-up of illegally dumped rubbish in the Colquhoun State Forest near Lakes Entrance, which has prompted a warning for people to do the right thing and dispose of their rubbish accordingly, or risk being prosecuted.
The Coalition Government is taking a tough stance on illegal dumping. Penalties of up to $6000 and/or imprisonment applies under the Environment Protection Act (1970) for illegally dumped rubbish and even more severe penalties apply for the dumping of industrial waste.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) crews from Nowa Nowa, with support from East Gippsland Shire Council, spent three days picking up rubbish from sites within the Colquhoun State Forest, and were shocked to see so much thoughtless damage to the forest environment.
Member for Gippsland East Tim Bull MP said, “Now we've cleaned the area up we want to keep it that way, so potential offenders be warned, there will be regular patrols and policing operations to prevent further dumping and bring offenders to justice.”
“We’ve picked up truckloads of garbage, including 10 tonnes of mixed rubbish and two tonnes of steel,” Mr Bull said.
“There was household rubbish, building and renovating materials, concrete, garden waste, car parts, piles of tyres, dumped cars, televisions, animal parts, mattresses, wire, glass and just about anything else you can think of that should never be dumped in our beautiful forests.”
“Most of this material can be recycled at the local tip, so illegal dumping of such items cannot be justified and will not be tolerated.”
“The cost to the taxpayer extends beyond the considerable expense of cleaning this mess up. It can also impact on environmental tourism and our local clean green image.”
Details were found amongst the rubbish that could help to identify offenders and anyone with information is asked to come forward.
Anyone with information or who has seen material being dumped in the forest should contact the Lakes Entrance or Bairnsdale DEPI office or the Customer Service Centre on 136 186.