Helicopters will be flying over the region as authorities try to stop illegal rubbish dumping.
The program, funded by the ACT and NSW governments and supported by local governments in the Yass Valley, Queanbeyan, Palerang and Cooma-Monaro, is being used to identify difficult to reach places that could be used for illegal dumping in the region. It costs $450,000.
Ginninderra MLA Yvette Berry said construction waste, asbestos and household and garden rubbish from Queanbeyan and Canberra was being dumped on public land.
“This is an ongoing problem which is not just unsightly, but poses risks to the environment and human health," she said.
“Clean-up of these sites is also a financial burden on ratepayers.
“It requires a coordinated and persistent effort to put a stop to illegal dumping which is exactly what this program is designed to do.
Basic littering penalties in the ACT are $1000 fines for individuals and $5000 for businesses. Penalties for aggravated littering that could cause injury to person animal or public place are $5000 fines for individuals, $25,000 for businesses or imprisonment for six months.
Dumping of illegal substances can attract $200,000 fines for individuals and $1 million for businesses as well as seven years imprisonment and the possibility of other penalties.
In NSW, penalties include up to two-years in jail or fines of up to $5 million for anyone found to be responsible for illegal dumping and contamination of land and waterways.
Monaro MP John Barilaro said illegal dumping harmed the community and the environment.
"Today’s helicopter surveillance operation will help to identify illegal dumping spots that may be difficult to locate or access on ground,” Mr Barilaro said.
"A helicopter will fly over the NSW/ACT border region targeting areas where the highest rates of illegal dumping are known or suspected to occur."
Members of the public can report suspected illegal dumping to the EPA Environment Line to Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.
Residents are encouraged to report vehicle registration numbers, locations and times when reporting illegal dumping to authorities.
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