BEAUTY TRASHED: Roy Lucas is concerned that illegal dumping and vandalism such as in this photo has ruined a swimming hole in Nankin.
BEAUTY TRASHED: Roy Lucas is concerned that illegal dumping and vandalism such as in this photo has ruined a swimming hole in Nankin. Chris Ison

Stop dumping at beauty spots

WHEN Rockhampton’s Roy Lucas thinks back to his youth, he remembers Nankin Creek as a favoured place.

These days it’s just one of the growing number of beauty spots being ruined by a rise in illegal dumping.

Yesterday, it seemed appropriate that the weather was overcast and gloomy as Roy took a walk down memory lane, strolling alongside the creek he used to swim in as a kid.

While the car that had been dumped there a couple of weeks ago had been removed, the area was still littered with bits and pieces of other people’s rubbish, such as fibro from a demolished bathroom.

The Capricorn Conservation Council says there are reports of a growing number of sites, like Nankin, across the Rockhampton region where people are illegally dumping.

Instances have risen since Rockhampton Regional Council changed its landfill policies, removing the former Livingstone council’s popular voucher system as well as imposing a charge to dump green waste there.

Fees have also jumped at the Rockhampton dump.

Councillors representing coastal divisions say the problem is being felt most acutely in the former Livingstone shire, where councillors Bill Ludwig and Brett Svendsen said they were seeing the problem first hand.

Both made their feelings known at the council table earlier this week.

Frustratingly, it appears little can be done for the time being with council locked into its current system for this financial year.

Roy said what had happened over time at Nankin, about eight kilometres from Nerimbera, was a tragedy.

“It’s a favourite spot of mine, I’ve known about it a long time,” he said.

“It’s disappointing to see what’s happened.

“I don’t think it’s used that much any more.

“Why would you with all this rubbish about?

“This is partially about dumping fees, but mainly about people being lazy.”

A statement by the conservation council said: “Since the increase in Rockhampton Regional Council’s dumping fees, CCC has received several calls from community members reporting the illegal dumping of rubbish.

“The most recent was in the Fishing Creek area of Byfield National Park and at the old gravel pit.

“There has been a large amount of rubbish and green waste dumped in these areas and this is a concern.”

The group urged people to dob in offenders.

Cr Ludwig said the abolition of the voucher system was a “monumental step backwards”.

“I want to put out a call for the community to do the right thing,” he said.

“Meanwhile, I promise to do everything in my power to have the decision reviewed every time a new budget is set.

“I believe the decision that was made produced a bureaucratic outcome, but not one that was good for the community or environment.

“What is happening is a direct result of what has occurred.

“The voucher system was recommended by the Transition Committee to be adopted for the whole of the region, but disappointingly the majority of the Rockhampton-based councillors voted it down.”

Cr Svendsen, who agreed with Cr Ludwig, said he’d personally seen an increase in illegal dumping in his division.

“There’s much more rubbish being dumped in my division,” Cr Svendsen said.

He said he would be interested to find out how much it was costing council to clear away illegally dumped rubbish.

How can we control the rubbish? What do you think? Leave your comments below...



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