CCTV must be a tool in combating illegal dumping
The practice of illegal dumping continues to damage natural environments throughout the country. Questioning the Minister yesterday, Labour Senator Mark Wall raised the issue of balancing data protection rights with deterring this type of behaviour. Local authorities must be enabled to address this harmful behaviour.
Senator Wall said:
“Illegal dumping is a scourge throughout the country that is causing untold damage to our environment. There are many community groups who continue to volunteer to protect their local area by cleaning up illegally dumped waste. Illegal dumping can potentially cause severe problems for those in rural areas, including preventing flood waters from draining effectively, and local authorities must be empowered to address this.
“One tool long used by local authorities as an effective deterent is CCTV. Despite this, it would seem that question marks are being raised around the use of CCTV by our local authorities due to data protection concerns. I am asking the Minister to investigate this, as well as working with my Labour Party colleagues around the current legislation on the issues surronding illegal dumping.
“The reality is, being able to identify the culprits through the use of CCTV is a deterrent to this behaviour. My own local authority are now reporting 40 to 50 incidents of illegal dumping each week, many of these are at locations which have just recently been cleaned at a cost to us all.
“The Minister needs to take a common sense approach to this problem, and a balance between privacy and the common good must be struck. Illegal dumping is a serious issue and a blight on our countryside.”