26 September 2023

National parks fight back against dumpers

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The Department of Environment and Science (DES) has put Sunshine Coast environmental vandals on notice where – “you will be caught and fined if you dump rubbish in national parks or State forests”.

The DES wants the public to help following the recent discovery of commercial and domestic rubbish in a protected area.

Acting Principal Ranger with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), Nat Smith said rangers had more important work to do that clean up after environmental vandals.

“Queensland’s national parks do not need air conditioning units, they are not car parks and they are not rubbish dumps,” Mr Smith said.

“Recently, rangers discovered six air conditioners, a washing machine and other electrical accessories at the Coochin Creek camp-ground and day use area.”

He said rangers also discovered household waste including clothes, rubbish and car tyres on Wappa Dam Road in the Mapleton Conservation Park.

“We removed an abandoned four-wheel-drive and other rubbish from the Mapleton National Park,” Mr Smith said.

“Rangers have determined who owned the vehicle, but we’re asking anyone with information about the Blackall rubbish, or anyone who had air conditioners replaced recently, to contact us.”

He said if the QPWS could not identify an alleged offender, it had to cover the cost of removing the rubbish “and that is less money we can spend on parks infrastructure to enhance the enjoyment of our visitors”.

Mr Smith said the investigation into the unlawfully dumped waste was continuing, and the QPWS would issue Penalty Infringement Notices if those responsible could be identified.

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