In Environment

Western Australia Minister for Environment Bill Marmion

On-The-Spot Litter Fines Increased

Victor P Taffa

  • Significantly increased fines for littering start today
  • Dropping cigarette butts will incur $200 on-the-spot fine

Litterers will be hit with significantly increased on-the-spot fines from today as new laws take effect.

Environment Minister Bill Marmion said changes to litter regulations, formally gazetted yesterday, reinforced the State Government’s zero tolerance policy on potentially dangerous littering behaviour.

“Litter is not only unsightly, it can cause serious harm a smouldering discarded cigarette could easily start a bushfire, especially in the current hot conditions.” Mr. Marmion said.

“That’s why a new category of offence known as ‘littering that creates a public risk’ has been created, which will target people engaged in serious offences such as littering lit cigarettes, syringes, broken glass, chemicals or other dangerous materials.”

“These offences will attract an on-the-spot fine of $500 for an individual and $2,000 for a business.”

“The discarding of unlit cigarette butts will incur a $200 on-the-spot fine, up from $75.”

“The Government is determined to stamp out littering and the new penalties will provide an added deterrent.”

The Minister said littering fines could be issued by a range of authorised officers, including Police and rangers, so the chance of being caught was high.

“In addition, the Keep Australia Beautiful Council (KAB) issues infringements in response to litter reports from more than 6,500 registered community litter reporters.” Mr. Marmion said.

Fact File

  • According to KAB, cigarette butts comprise, by item, almost 50% of WA litter
  • In WA, KAB issued 2,200 infringements for littering since July 2012
  • Litter costs $20 Million a year to clean up
  • Liberal-National Govt introduced new penalties:
  • Increased fines for cigarette butts from $75 to $200
  • Maximum penalties for offences increased from $1,000 to $5,000
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