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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 8 Hansard (29 October) . . Page.. 2497 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (continuing):

In fact, my recollection is that they were nothing more than a bluff. If the person who received the litter infringement notice chose not to pay the bill - the hundred or couple of hundred dollars - there was argument as to whether there was a sufficient mechanism for some department to actually recoup the unpaid fine. So I do not think a great many litter infringement notices were given out by police, based on that apparently useless outcome - once again, if my memory serves me correctly.

When I look at the obviously upgraded Litter Act of 1977 I see:

A person shall not deposit litter in or on a public place. Penalty -

(a) if the litter is likely to cause injury to persons or damage to property - $5,000; or

(b) in any other case - $3,000.

That is a very large jump from the couple of hundred dollars I recall playing with.

Mr Kaine: Worth every cent, David.

Mr Humphries: It was probably a hundred pounds in those days, Dave.

MR RUGENDYKE: We must not jest. It is a serious issue. There were some constables who would give out a litter infringement notice if someone did not like his traffic infringement notice and threw it on the road. That was a couple of hundred dollars. But I doubt that any police officer would do that, knowing that these days it could cost $3,000. It seems quite outrageous.

Mr Hargreaves: It is less if you have got dangerous fireworks.

MR RUGENDYKE: It is silly, isn't it? I genuinely think that when Mr Moore had this Bill drafted he did so in good faith and the penalties were inserted into the proposed amendment in line with the rest of the Litter Act. I thank Mr Stanhope for alerting us to the apparently heavy-handed 10 penalty units for sticking something under a windscreen-wiper - $1,000.

Mr Hargreaves: In each instance.

MR RUGENDYKE: Thank you, John. It pains me greatly that I must agree with Mr Berry, but it does seem as though he is correct.

Mr Kaine: You are going soft, David.

MR RUGENDYKE: I may be going soft, but my mind is boggled by the steep fines involved with this Litter Act. I feel great irritation when junk is placed under my windscreen-wiper. Invariably, when you get in the car, as Mr Hargreaves said, you cannot reach it when you turn the wipers on, and the thing ends up shredding as you drive along, and blowing away.

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