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As cases of illegal dumping pile up, Labor calls for kerbside collection

At Tuesday’s council meeting the suburbs where illegally dumped material has been collected since last April was made public.

It showed 1289 cases of illegal dumping in Brisbane suburbs since, with the most frequent cases at Inala (74), Doolandella (36), Forest Lake (35) and Calamvale (29).

Forest Lake ward councillor Charles Strunk – who represents parts of Inala, Doolandella and Forest Lake – said few of his residents owned a trailer, many rented their homes and most relied on the council’s cancelled kerbside collection.

“They don’t have space to store the trailers because the blocks are so small.

“Cancelling kerbside collection has been a major, major thing for us.”

Cr Strunk said most council offices now had staff members phoning the council’s waste collection staff to come out and collect illegally dumped materials.

He said in Inala people dumped in spaces that “were hidden away”.

After the council cancelled kerbside collection, it gave 10 dump vouchers to people who rent.

“First of all, they [renters] have only recently been given dump vouchers,” Cr Shrunk said.

“But what happens is that renters move out, they dump the stuff and then they leave.”

There are many cases of illegal dumping in suburbs with a relatively higher proportion of bushland and rental properties: Acacia Ridge (22), Bald Hills (17) Boondall (10), Bracken Ridge (17), Carindale (17), Eight Mile Plains (21), New Farm (21) and Brighton (19).

Fines issued per financial year

  • In the 2019-20 financial year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020) council issued 169 infringement notices for illegal dumping, totalling $374,451 in fines.
  • In the 2020-21 financial year to date (July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021) council issued 100 infringement notices for illegal dumping, totalling $235,518 in fines.

The chair of council’s city standards, community health and safety committee, Kim Marx, said illegal dumping was “blatant laziness and a dirty act”.

Cr Marx said the council spent $800,000 every financial year to remove illegally dumped material, money that “could be invested in infrastructure such as footpaths, parks and roads”.

“To deter illegal dumpers, we have also implemented a range of high-tech cameras that are installed in hotspots and are rotated to different locations,” she said.

“The comments made by Labor councillor Charles Strunk are politically motivated and factually incorrect.

“An extra booklet of 200 waste vouchers has already been given to the Forest Lake [council office], so they have been issued 400 vouchers since July 1, 2020. There simply is no shortage of waste vouchers.”

Cr Marx said kerbside collection were not cancelled but on hold.

“They will return when it is economically viable to do so.”

But Cr Strunk said kerbside collection should return now.

“I think if you asked anyone on the street, they would say yes, it’s time they came back.”

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