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Litter and Dumping

Thank you, Madam Speaker. And I thank Mr Milligan for moving this motion. The motion mentions ‘numerous complaints from the residents of Yerrabi’. I can assure this Assembly that it is not just the residents of Mr Milligan’s electorate who are complaining about roadside litter, illegal dumping and the abuse of charity bins. I have personally received numerous complaints from my constituents in the Ginninderra Electorate concerning these same issues.

For example, the charity bins at the Kippax Shopping Centre too often are used as dumping spots for unwanted goods. Worn or unwanted household furnishings and broken appliances can be found just left along the sides of roads, and litter is a problem not just in streets but in parks and reserves as well as in more built-up areas like the Belconnen Town Centre. Canberra, residents frequently tell me, used to be a beautiful city, but it looks more and more shabby with each passing year.

I take this opportunity to first of all call upon residents to do the right thing when it comes to disposal of waste. There is simply no excuse to drop litter near shopping centres, for example. At the same time, I note that when a problem becomes as widespread as illegal dumping has become in Canberra, that is usually a clear indication that something is wrong at a systemic level. Most people will not choose the illegal option when the legal option is convenient, reasonable, and affordable.

When the Riot Act reported in August last year regarding over 1,150 reports of illegal dumping, many Canberrans who commented on the article pointed out that there are a number of factors that make it difficult for people to correctly and appropriately dispose of waste in the ACT.[1] I therefore join with Mr Milligan in calling upon the ACT Government to acknowledge that this is growing problem, to review current resources and processes, and to report back to the Assembly on these matters by 18 June this year. Thank you.


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