DUBBO City Council has backed the NSW government's move to increase littering and pollution fines, encouraging residents to think twice before carelessly tossing rubbish onto roads and into waterways.
The increased penalties give the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and NSW councils greater regulatory power to take action on environmental offences.
This includes on-the-spot fines of up to $15,000 for the most serious incidents investigated by the EPA.
Dubbo City Council's manager environmental control Debbie Archer said the most common fines issued by council rangers were for littering from motor vehicles.
Those fines had increased to $250 for individuals and $500 for corporations.
"The most common item littered is cigarette butts and tossers should really think twice as there could be someone watching," Ms Archer said.
In August, Dubbo Local Court convicted and fined a resident $750 for polluting waterways.
In that incident, the resident had left rubbish from fishing and camping on the banks of the Macquarie River.
A witness saw the incident and enough evidence was collected to allow council to issue an infringement.
Under the new legislation introduced this month the $750 fine has increased to $4000.
Ms Archer said Council was encouraging the community to consider the consequences of their actions and reduce littering behaviour by implementing educational awareness campaigns such as Bin Your Butts and Bat for the Macquarie River.
Bin Your Butts and Bat for the Macquarie River will involve the implementation of new infrastructure to promote correct disposal of cigarette butts including butt bins and permanent signage advising of the fines for littering in the CBD," Ms Archer said.
"The new infrastructure will be complemented by an interactive education campaign where Council staff will be promoting the key message of Bin Your Butts and Bat for the Macquarie River through broadcast and display advertising."
Bin Your Butts and Bat for the Macquarie River is a NSW Environment Protection Authority Waste Less, Recycle More initiative funded from the waste levy.
For more information about the increased fines contact Dubbo City Council's Environmental Services Division on 6801 4000.