Stronger anti-litter laws

October 23, 2019

The ACT Government's City Presentation team works hard to keep our city looking great. 🌿🌳🌷 Things like trimming trees, getting rid of weeds, mowing grass and cleaning up litter.

But unlikely trees, weeds and grass, litter doesn't occur naturally. It doesn't appear or grow without human involvement.

The majority of Canberrans care about how our city looks and feels and do the right thing. 🚮 But the Government is still spending $3 million a year cleaning up illegally dumped items. 🚯 

$3 million a year cleaning up other people's messes - including messes that risk our public's safety. It's just not right.

This week we amended our Litter Act to create greater penalties for littering and dumping. For small items like a ticket or a coffee cup, the fine will be $150.
For items like syringes and cigarette butts - whether lit or unlit - the fine will be $500. These items pose a serious risk to public safety.

The reason that there's no distinction between lit and unlit butts is that too many times people think a cigarette is extinguished when it’s not - this is a risk in and of itself.

We also now have an escalating framework based on volume.When the volume of litter dumped is over 1 litre but under 10 litres, which will attract an on the spot fine of $500. Moving up the scale, between 10 litres and 200 litres will attract a $1,000 on the spot fine, and over 200 litres a $1,500 on the spot fine.

This new framework will be supported by a comprehensive education and awareness campaign to alert people to their responsibilities and the consequences where they are not met, before compliance action is undertaken.

To support this work, we're rolling out more bins across the city - keep an eye out. 🗑️

Hoarding around the Territory will also be able to be better managed under this legislation, with the introduction of a staged approach addressing litter on private land.
The laws allow the Government to enter a site to clean-up and abate the hoarding of litter when all other actions have been unsuccessful. Appropriate processes must be followed, including following a mandatory code of practice and an application to the ACT Magistrates Court.

The Government is strengthening anti-litter laws