Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Wheelie Big Fine Is Not New

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Wheelie Big Fine Is Not New

Article excerpt

Byline: Sarah Steger

A NEW law targeting people leaving their wheelie bins on the footpath was recently passed in Mackay, sparking mixed reactions amongst Gladstone residents about the $2523 fine.

But Gladstone Region Mayor Matt Burnett said while the wheelie bin law was new in Mackay, it was old news in Gladstone and had existed in the region for years.

He said the law was passed in Gladstone years ago due to complaints made to the council. But he added councils around Queensland were not intending to fine people, just warn them.

"(But) this isn't Gladstone Regional Council coming out and fining people ... it's so council has an instrument, if necessary, for people who leave their bins out for months or years."

Cr Burnett told The Observer people who left their bins out were not necessarily lazy.

He said people living in blocks of units often had problems with the designated space for their wheelie bins being used for other purposes like parking spots.

"Most complaints are for units ... the residents have got nowhere to take them so they leave them on the footpath," Cr Burnett said.

"Nine times out of 10, people want to bring their bin to their house as its closer and easier to throw their rubbish out."

Cr Burnett argued the local law department wasn't "all about issuing fines" and said the law simply provided an option if complaints were made.

"It's not about attacking mums and dads who are leaving their bins out one or two days late," Cr Burnett said.

He compared the law to how Gladstone Regional Council (GRC) responded to overgrown lot complaints.

"In those instances, we send them a letter to say they have to mow their lawn," he said.

GRC then gives residents a time frame for the mowing to be completed in. If it is not done by the end of the period, workers are sent to complete the work and a bill is issued. …

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