Council all across Queensland are proposing to bring in new local laws that would see residents fined more than $2000 if they leave their bins on the street for more than a day.
Council all across Queensland are proposing to bring in new local laws that would see residents fined more than $2000 if they leave their bins on the street for more than a day. Campbell Gellie

$2523 to curb wheelie bin kerb dawdlers

WHEELIE bin dawdlers who fail to promptly take their bins back from the kerb face a fine in excess of $2500 under proposed Mackay laws.

The new law, Local Law Number 9, could see residents slugged with a $2523 fine if they leave their bins outside on the kerb for more than 24 hours before or after rubbish collection day.

Mackay Regional Council says the creation of the new law, which covers everything to do with waste management, is being forced by the expiration of State legislation. The council said it will be in no hurry to enforce the fines.

But it does leave open the possibility holiday-makers who deposit their bin before they go away, and those tardy at retrieving it, could get the bill. The rules will be in place by July 1.

Previous legislation also allowed a fine of $2523 for those leaving their bins out too long, but it didn't have a defined time-it said it covered a period "otherwise reasonably appropriate before and after collection".

But the new proposed local law, with the 24-hour limit, is being rolled out by about 20 local councils including Mackay, Townsville, Rockhampton, Burdekin, Bundaberg, Gladstone and the Gold Coast. Local Government Association of Queensland spokesman Craig Johnstone said Gold Coast was the first to adopt the law after the State Government decided to not extend the current legislation.

He said the association had been lobbying the government to leave the legislation in place but had lost. He believed 24 hours was long enough for people to bring their bins in after they had been emptied.

Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson said in response to complaints, the waste management team within the council had defined "reasonable" to be 24 hours when drafting up the proposed local law.

Although the law would now be able to policed, Cr Williamson said the change was not in response to a problem in the region where bins had been left out.

Since April there had only been 18 complaints about people leaving their bins out on the street and nobody has ever been fined.

Cr Williamson said the purpose of the local law was to give local officers "some teeth" when dealing with people who were doing the wrong thing.

"Local officers are out there trying and making sure (Mackay) has an urban environment that looks good," he said.

"In the case where someone complains that there is a land owner or occupier of a dwelling not doing the right thing by the environment, and people that live in that area, we need this local law or otherwise it is a free-for-all."

Cr Williamson was insistent that the law wasn't to raise money and would only be policed if people complained about their neighbours.

According to the draft law, the rightful place for a bin to be kept at a home is "at ground level close to the rear alignment of a building".

Brisbane City Council, which allows a fine of $1260, has retained similar working to the old piece of legislation.

Another section of the proposed law confirms only the local government- approved tip shop is allowed to take rubbish from the dump.



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