FOBIF members have noted a rash of rubbish dumping in our public lands recently. All of it is unsightly, and some disgusting: the prize in this latter category going to the person who has dumped large amounts of meat offcuts in the Poverty Gully area.
It’s bad enough that piles of old mattresses and sundry household items are littering the bush—including plenty of stuff that would easily fit into a household or even street bin. What is much more serious is the dumping of garden rubbish, much of which is the source of serious weed outbreaks. It’s worth remembering that weeds cost Australian agriculture $4 billion a year, and that most of them are garden escapes. A few months ago FOBIF members discovered an infestation of English broom on Mount Alexander which was promptly dealt with by Parks Victoria: the potential for this weed to get into adjoining private land was high, and the costs would have been serious. We are pretty sure that the infestation was caused by dumping of garden rubbish.
FOBIF has written to Mount Alexander Shire urging the issue of free garden rubbish vouchers to residents. Although we don’t think this is a magic solution to the problem, we do believe that cost of tipping garden rubbish does deter people from doing the right thing. Anything which would ease this problem—and the burden on public land managers who have to deal with it – should be tried.