Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 3 Hansard (12 March) . . Page.. 923 ..
MR CORNWELL (continuing):
at the time. There is no way we can possibly track it down."So the government of the day said, "All right. The fine for that will be $500. If, on the other hand, you can find somebody who was driving it, then they will be personally responsible."I think it is something over $100. Most businesses suddenly discovered it was a good idea to track down who was driving the vehicle at the time.
I do not see any difficulty about this. If we put the infringement notice out against the owner of the vehicle, they will very quickly discover who was driving their car at the time the offence occurred. I think that is common sense-otherwise, they can pay the fine themselves.
In spite of the worthiness of the motion, which says that the Liberal opposition supports the congratulations to the Clean Up Australia volunteers, I am afraid that your government, Ms MacDonald, has not done a great deal to counter the amount of rubbish continuing to be generated since Clean Up Australia Day began in 1990. I suppose that criticism could be directed to most governments around the country.
The fact is that, if we are going to be fair dinkum about litter-if we are going to try to maintain the bush capital image, the concept at least that Australians have of Canberra being a clean and beautiful place-then we are going to have to start enforcing the laws to a much greater extent than we have to date.
What happened within a week or two of Clean Up Australia this year? I suggest that, if you go down to Conder, Ms MacDonald, you will find that there is just as much litter lying around there. Maybe there is not as much, but certainly the litter is once again building up at Conder. What do we have to do? Just go through the token motion that one day a year we all get out-or some of us get out-and clear our consciences by picking up the rubbish?
No. If we are genuine about doing something about this, we must increase the penalties, or at least change the law to enable penalties to be applied, and then apply them. A few names in newspapers for litter offences would do no harm at all. I commend those suggestions to the government.
I notice the Minister for Urban Services has been present and listening very carefully. I notice that my colleague, Mr Wood, is assiduous in being present for matters relating to his portfolio. I hope he has taken aboard the comments I have made. Minister, if we are going to be genuine about this, we need to take much tougher and firmer action on the matter. However, we certainly support the motion of Ms MacDonald.
MS DUNDAS (12.11): I will return to the intention of the motion, which is to talk about Clean Up Australia Day. I am glad to extend my thanks and congratulations to the community-spirited people who participated in Clean Up Australia Day a couple of weekends ago.
Litter is a problem of great concern to the community. There is no question that neglected areas covered with litter attract illegal dumping and become eyesores. I believe that an annual clean up of public areas does make a difference. This is one of many examples of the contribution volunteers make to our community and our community wellbeing.