Crackdown on illegal dumping
Brett Fitzgerald plans to catch dumpers.

The State Government has vowed to make an example of the criminals who have turned swaths of State forest in the northern suburbs into an illegal rubbish tip.

Perth's suburban wasteland is a pine plantation scattered with burnt-out cars and boats, but it's the sheer tonnage of rubbish that defies belief.

Piles of it line the dirt roads through the Gnangara-Moore River State Forest, the accumulation of years of illegal dumping.

Truckloads of construction materials, asbestos sheeting, electrical goods and general waste have been dumped, leaving taxpayers to foot the clean-up bill.

Some of the piles represent the contents of a house - furniture, clothes and toys.

Residents on Warbrook Road in Gnangara live next to a dumping site, too scared to confront the "scumbags" ruining the area.

Efforts to photograph the dumpers in the act have led to aggression and threats.

The Department of Parks and Wildlife spent $38,000 removing 490cum of rubbish from Warbrook Road late last year. It barely made a dent.

The City of Wanneroo poured $374,000 into the issue in 2013-14, most of which was spent tidying the fringes of the State forest.

DPAW parks and visitor services co-ordinator Brett Fitzgerald said he was determined to hit back at the dumpers by issuing more fines.

Only four people have been convicted of dumping in the Gnangara-Moore River State Forest since stronger fines were introduced in 2012.

Mr Fitzgerald said infrared camera technology would be rolled out next month to help catch those responsible for littering on a scale unprecedented in WA.

"These people are transferring the cost to government because they're not prepared to dispose of waste properly, which is just part of doing business," he said. "I think we need to improve our monitoring, get the evidence to ping these people and really start making an example out of them."

The Gnangara off-road vehicle area is billed as a family friendly space, but even the Government admits it has become a health and environmental hazard.

Recreational Trailbike Riders Association president Steve Pretzel said that years of neglect had made the Gnangara pines "a lost cause".

"It's an impossible job for Parks and Wildlife to try to keep on top of it now," he said.

"You can imagine the danger that exists with lumps of metals, bricks, asbestos, whatever."

Individuals can be fined $5000 under the Litter Act or $62,500 under the Environmental Protection Act.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West