New patrols to tackle litter louts

Published 6:00am 3 August 2023

New patrols to tackle litter louts
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: From left, Pristine Peninsula's Les Barkla, Phil Johnson and Sue Johnson during a morning patrol this week.

Litter patrols and fines will be ramped up from this month to tackle rubbish discarded along the Redcliffe foreshore and in Clontarf.

It follows a long-running campaign by the Pristine Peninsula community group and support from Councillor Karl Winchester (Div 6).

Pristine Peninsula has been logging litter levels and types along Elizabeth Ave for six years to improve the area – and spent two years lobbying for more patrols.

One morning this week, volunteers found 37 cigarette butts by Elizabeth Ave. Rubbish from uncovered vehicles on the Hornibrook Bridge is also concerning.

“There’s still an atrocious amount of litter being dumped at our parks, playgrounds and hot-spots on the peninsula,” Cr Winchester said.

“We’re seeing cigarette butts, food packaging and plastics in all shapes and sizes dumped on the ground and ending up in the bay, killing turtles, marine birds and sea life.

Rubbish collected on Sunday of this week by Pristine Peninsula members.

“I’ve advocated on behalf of Pristine Peninsula to see an increased focus on catching out and fining litterers.”

Cr Winchester said Council’s Program Rangers, patrolling the Redcliffe’s beach areas and adjacent parkland, seven days a week, will have a special focus on littering.

“That increased enforcement effort will start this month,” he said.

“Alongside our coastal foreshore, I have put forward the Elizabeth Ave, Clontarf area as a littering hot spot and have been advised it will be included on a special program basis.

“I understand it’s difficult to catch litterers in the act, but it’s vital compliance is undertaken to protect our wildlife and environment.”

Les Barkla, founder of Pristine Peninsula, said patrols were “great”, but “we need this to be consistent.

Pristine Peninsula volunteers sorting rubbish collected in Redcliffe.

“It needs to be every day to get the message through to community,” he said. “Once a week, once a month, is not going to achieve anything.

“The next step is Council has to issue litter fines. It’s taken two years to reach this stage and litter is getting worse. I see it daily. Sue and Phil (Johnson) see it daily.

“It’s every form of litter. People seem to have lost connection with what they drop out their windows. They have to understand it just doesn’t magically disappear.

“As soon as the next heavy rain comes all the litter here goes down into Hays Inlet. It will sit there and take hundreds of years to decay into microplastics, then come back in our food chain.

“It’s a serious problem we have to address.”

Mr Barkla said Education, Awareness, Enforcing litter fines and 100 per cent natural compostable packaging were the keys to beating litter louts.

Moreton Bay City Council has delegated authority on this issue as littering is established in Queensland Law.

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