Crack down on forest dumpers

19 Nov 2004

Please note - This news release has now been archived and may contain outdated information.

Sifting through other people’s rubbish is not high on anyone’s list of fun.

Nor is it for Forestry Corporation and Nambucca Shire Council staff, who have been doing just that with piles of rotting household garbage, discarded toys, decomposing animal carcases and other muck in Nambucca State Forest, opposite the turn off to the Nambucca waste management facility.

But the awful task has paid off.

“Forestry Corporation and Council staff found material that suggests one family is a consistent dumper of rubbish in the State forest opposite the council's waste management facility,” said Nambucca Shire Council environmental compliance officer, David Bell.

“We will be giving those people 48 hours to clean up the site or we will issue an infringement notice.

Rotting rubbish litters Nambucca State Forest

Rotting rubbish litters Nambucca State Forest.

“In recent times residents have been recording vehicle registration and other details of people acting suspiciously in State Forests, and forwarding this information to Forestry Corporation and Council.

“We encourage concerned residents to continue recording as much information as possible and forwarding it on to ensure successful prosecutions.”

Forestry Corporation community liaison forester David Wilson said the illegal dumping of rubbish in State forests was a continuing problem.

“This usually occurs near residential areas,” Mr Wilson said.

“It becomes an unsightly and unhygienic mess which other people have to contend with.

“And it is all because a few people in our community refuse to pay a small amount for proper disposal of waste they are creating themselves.”

Forestry Corporation and Nambucca Shire Council have joined forces to combat the problem.

Community liaison forester David Wilson surveys a mound of decaying furnituredumped in Nambucca State Forest

Community liaison forester David Wilson surveys a mound of decaying furnituredumped in Nambucca State Forest.

Staff from both organisations will be patrolling forests and council land to carry out surveillance of the worst areas.

“The council has ordinance inspectors and we have rangers who will be keeping an eye out in these areas,” Mr Wilson said.

“As much as we hate sifting through rubbish, we will do so to discover who is befouling the forests that are there for everyone to use in the proper manner."

Forestry Corporation has patrols in the area throughout the week and at weekends.

“Householders are not the only offenders,” Mr Wilson said.

“There are heaps of green waste and what appear to be discarded trees and stumps from tree lopping operations.

“There are also areas of dumped white goods, and a continuing risk of weed infestation from garden waste. State forests are not the place to be dumping unwanted exotic plants or banana cuttings.”

Burning piles of old tyres and exploding pressure cans have hampered firefighters over a number of recent seasons in Nambucca State Forest.

“These articles pose a threat to the safety of firefighters and to nearby communities,” Mr Wilson said.

Fines for illegal dumping in State forests range up to $5500.

Media contact: David Wilson on 02 66520111.

Photo opportunity: The piles of rubbish in the Nambucca State Forest would make good television or still images. Contact David Wilson for details.