Gympie litter bugs targeted
RESIDENTS across the region will need to be more careful with their rubbish as they could be slugged with a $200 fine if caught littering by a Gympie Regional Council employee. But council doesn’t have the man power to properly enforce the rule, Director of Community Services Michael Grant told councillors at a recent meeting.
Gympie councillors have adopted a policy to introduce “on-the-spot” fines for littering but tickets will be issued at the discretion of council and within budgetary constraints.
A letter from Rainbow Beach Residents and Ratepayers Association member Bob Lee drew the trash issue to council’s attention.
The letter said the Association had become “increasingly concerned” about the amount of litter that was dropped around Rainbow Beach.
“It is perhaps too easy to blame all the litter on visitors, as some is probably due to a small number of locals ‘doing the wrong thing’,” he wrote.
At the meeting Councils Director of Community Services Michael Grant said a problem with agreeing to start on-the-spot fines was council didn’t have a full time employee that could enforce it at Rainbow Beach. “We need to keep in mind we don’t have a presence at the Coast all the time,” he said.
Community and Economic Development Meeting Chair Cr Tony Perrett said it would be worthwhile to have the law in place for when staff were there, so if they caught someone littering they could fine them.
Mr Lee’s letter also suggested using more signage to warn people there was a fine for littering to encourage them to use bins, moving some existing bins and installing more.
The fines come under statewide littering fines and are being enforced by Gympie Regional Council for the first time.