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Contents (1997 - 156)
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Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 No 156
Current version for 5 July 2019 to date (accessed 17 December 2019 at 00:53)
Chapter 5 Part 5.6A
Part 5.6A Littering
144A   Definitions
In this Part:
advertising material means any paper product (including a leaflet, brochure or magazine), or other material thing, that contains advertising or promotional matter.
custodian of a place or vehicle means the person who owns the place or vehicle or who has the care, control or management of the place or vehicle.
depositing litter in or on a place includes:
(a)  dropping or throwing litter in, on, into or onto the place, or
(b)  leaving litter in or on the place, or
(c)  putting litter in such a location that it falls, descends, blows, is washed, percolates or otherwise escapes or is likely to fall, descend, blow, be washed, percolate or otherwise escape into or onto the place, or
(d)  causing, permitting or allowing litter to fall, descend, blow, be washed, percolate or otherwise escape into or onto the place.
litter includes:
(a)  any solid or liquid domestic or commercial refuse, debris or rubbish and, without limiting the generality of the above, includes any glass, metal, cigarette butts, paper, fabric, wood, food, abandoned vehicles, abandoned vehicle parts, construction or demolition material, garden remnants and clippings, soil, sand or rocks, and
(b)  any other material, substance or thing deposited in or on a place if its size, shape, nature or volume makes the place where it is deposited disorderly or detrimentally affects the proper use of that place,
deposited in or on a place, whether or not it has any value when or after being deposited in or on the place.
open private place means:
(a)  a private place that is situated in or on land and that is not within a building on the land, or
(b)  a private place that is situated in or on waters.
vehicle means:
(a)  any thing that is capable of transporting a person, including an aeroplane, vessel, bicycle, bus, car, horse, train or tram, or
(b)  any trailer that is attached to any such thing,
and includes a motor vehicle.
145   Littering generally
(1) Offence of littering A person who deposits litter in or on a public place or an open private place is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: 20 penalty units.
(2) Application of this section This section applies whether the place is in or on land or is in or on waters, but (without limiting subsection (5) (b)) does not apply to a place or class of places prescribed by the regulations as being excluded from this section.
(3) Exceptions: public places Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who deposited the litter in or on a public place, if the person:
(a)  deposited the litter in or on the place:
(i)  in a receptacle provided by the custodian of the place for the depositing of litter, and
(ii)  in accordance with any conditions specified by the custodian, by means of a notice displayed on or in the vicinity of the receptacle, in relation to the depositing of litter in the receptacle, or
(b)  placed a receptacle containing the litter in the place for the purpose of the litter being removed in the course of a litter removal service provided by the custodian of the place, or
(c)  deposited the litter in the place:
(i)  in response to an invitation contained in a notice published by the custodian of the place, and
(ii)  in accordance with any conditions specified in the notice in relation to the depositing of litter in that place, or
(d)  deposited the litter in the place with the express consent of the custodian of the place.
(4) Exceptions: open private places Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who deposited the litter in or on an open private place, if the person:
(a)  deposited the litter in or on the place in any receptacle:
(i)  that is provided for the deposit of litter, and
(ii)  that is appropriate for litter of that size, shape, nature or volume, or
(b)  at the relevant time was the custodian of the place or was acting with the express or implied consent of the custodian of the place.
(5) Exceptions: generally Subsection (1) does not apply to a person who deposited the litter in or on a place, if the person:
(a)  deposited the litter in the place under an authority conferred by or under this or any other Act or any Commonwealth Act, or
(b)  deposited the litter in accordance with any regulations made for the purposes of this section or in such circumstances as may be prescribed by any regulations made for the purposes of this section.
145A   Aggravated littering
(1) Aggravated littering A person is guilty of the offence of aggravated littering under this section if the person commits an offence under section 145 in circumstances of aggravation.
Maximum penalty (instead of any penalty under section 145):
  in the case of a corporation—50 penalty units, or
  in the case of an individual—30 penalty units.
(2) Circumstances of aggravation For the purposes of this section, circumstances of aggravation means circumstances in which the litter deposited by the alleged offender:
(a)  caused or contributed to appreciable danger or harm to any persons, animals, premises or property, or
(b)  was reasonably likely to cause or contribute to such danger or harm (whether or not any such danger or harm was actually caused),
because of the volume or kind of litter deposited, or the manner in which it was deposited, or the place in or on which it was deposited.
(3)  Without limiting subsection (2), a reference in that subsection to litter includes a reference to a lit cigarette.
(4)  For the purposes of this section, circumstances of aggravation also means circumstances in which the litter deposited by the alleged offender comprised or included a syringe. It is not necessary to establish, in relation to those circumstances, the matters referred to in subsection (2).
(5) Aggravation not proved If the court is satisfied that a person charged with the offence of aggravated littering is not guilty of that offence but is satisfied on the evidence that the person is guilty of an offence under section 145, the court may find the person guilty of the offence under that section, and the person is liable to punishment accordingly.
(6) Definition In this section:
syringe means a hypodermic syringe, and includes anything designed for use or intended to be used as part of such a syringe, and also includes a needle designed for use or intended to be used in connection with such a syringe.
146   Owners and drivers of motor vehicles and trailers involved in littering
(1) Offence If litter is deposited from a motor vehicle, or from a trailer attached to a motor vehicle, contrary to section 145 or 145A, the following are taken to be guilty of an offence under that section:
(a)  in the case of litter deposited from a motor vehicle—the driver of the motor vehicle,
(b)  in the case of litter deposited from a motor vehicle—the owner of the motor vehicle,
(c)  in the case of litter deposited from a trailer attached to a motor vehicle—the owner of the trailer.
(2) Only one person liable Subsection (1) does not affect the liability of the actual offender but, if a penalty has been imposed or recovered from any person in relation to the offence (whether the actual offender, the driver or the owner), no further penalty may be imposed on or recovered from any other person. In this subsection, penalty includes a penalty under a penalty notice.
(3) Exception for passenger vehicles Subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a)  the motor vehicle is a bus, taxi or other public transport vehicle and is being used at the time to convey a public passenger, and
(b)  the litter was deposited by that passenger.
(4) Exception for stolen vehicles Subsection (1) (b) does not apply if the motor vehicle was at the time a stolen motor vehicle or a motor vehicle illegally taken or used.
(4A) Exception for stolen trailers Subsection (1) (c) does not apply if the trailer was at the time a stolen trailer or a trailer illegally taken or used.
(5) Exception for owner when not driver Subsection (1) (b) or (c) does not apply if the owner was not in the motor vehicle, including the motor vehicle to which the trailer was attached, at the relevant time and:
(a)  gives notice in accordance with subsection (7) of the name and address of the person who was in charge of the motor vehicle at the relevant time, or
(b)  satisfies the officer who gave the penalty notice for the offence or the court dealing with the offence (as the case requires) that the owner did not know, and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained, that name and address.
A notice under this subsection is, in proceedings against the person named in the notice for an offence under this Part, evidence that the person was driving the motor vehicle at the relevant time.
(6) Exception for driver when not offender Subsection (1) (a) does not apply if the driver:
(a)  gives notice in accordance with subsection (7) of the name and address of the passenger in the motor vehicle who deposited the litter, or
(b)  satisfies the officer who gave the penalty notice for the offence or the court dealing with the offence (as the case requires) that the driver did not deposit the litter and did not know, and could not with reasonable diligence have ascertained, the name and address of the passenger who deposited the litter.
A notice under this subsection is, in proceedings against the person named in the notice for an offence under this Part, evidence that the person deposited the litter from the motor vehicle.
(7) Notice given by owner or driver A notice for the purposes of subsection (5) or (6) must be in the form of an approved nomination notice and:
(a)  if a penalty notice has been given for the offence—the notice must be given to an officer specified in the penalty notice for the purpose within 21 days after service of the penalty notice, or
(b)  if a court is dealing with the offence—the notice must be given to the prosecutor within 21 days after service of the summons or court attendance notice for the offence.
(7A)  Despite any other provision of this Act, an approved nomination notice may be provided by a person served with a penalty notice within 90 days of the notice being served on the person if the approved nomination notice is provided in the circumstances specified in section 23AA or 23AB of the Fines Act 1996.
(7B)  If the owner or driver of a vehicle supplies an approved nomination notice to an officer or a prosecutor for the purposes of this section, an officer or prosecutor may, by written notice served on the owner or driver, require the owner to supply a statutory declaration for use in court proceedings that verifies the nomination contained in the approved nomination notice.
(8) False statements A person who makes a statement for the purposes of subsection (5) or (6) knowing that it is false is guilty of an offence.
Maximum penalty: 10 penalty units.
(9) Definition In this section:
approved nomination notice has the same meaning as in section 38 of the Fines Act 1996.
146A   Depositing of advertising material
(1) Offence A person must not deposit any advertising material in or on any place, other than:
(a)  in a receptacle that is provided for the deposit of mail, or
(b)  in a receptacle that is provided for the deposit of newspapers, or
(c)  under the door of any premises.
Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.
(2) Application of this section This section applies whether the place is a public place or a private place, and whether the place is in or on land or is in or on waters, but does not apply to the deposit of any advertising material in or on a vehicle.
(3) Exceptions This section does not apply to the deposit of:
(a)  any newspaper, or any material folded or inserted in a newspaper, or
(b)  anything that is of such a size, shape or volume that it is not possible or appropriate for it to be deposited in accordance with subsection (1) (a)–(c), or
(c)  anything in a place by a person who is the custodian of the place or is acting with the express consent of the custodian of the place, or
(d)  anything by a person who deposits it in accordance with any regulations made for the purposes of this section or in such circumstances as may be prescribed by any regulations made for the purposes of this section.
146B   Advertising material not to be placed in or on vehicles
(1) Offence A person must not deposit any advertising material in or on any vehicle.
Maximum penalty: 5 penalty units.
(2) Application of this section This section applies whether the vehicle is situated in or on a public place or a private place.
(3) Exceptions This section does not apply to the deposit of:
(a)  any material by a person who is the custodian of the vehicle or is acting with the express consent of the custodian of the vehicle, or
(b)  any material by a person who deposits it in accordance with any regulations made for the purposes of this section or in such circumstances as may be prescribed by any regulations made for the purposes of this section.
(4)  For the purposes of subsection (3) (a), a person is not the custodian of a vehicle parked at a parking station merely because the person is the custodian of the parking station. In this subsection, parking station means a place (such as a car park) provided for the parking of vehicles, and includes a place or place of a class prescribed by the regulations.
146C   Offence to cause or ask person to commit offence
A person must not cause, ask, require or induce, or attempt to cause, ask, require or induce, another person to do anything that contravenes or would contravene section 146A or 146B.
Maximum penalty:
  in the case of a corporation—30 penalty units, or
  in the case of an individual—7 penalty units.
146D   Littering reports
(1)  The EPA is required to furnish to the Minister a biennial report on littering.
(2)  The report is to contain estimates of the composition and quantity of litter, by reference to locations considered by the EPA to be places of significant littering activity.
(3)  The EPA must cause advertisements to be published setting out the proposed methodology to be used in compiling such reports and inviting comments from members of the public concerning the proposed methodology. The EPA must allow at least 30 days for such comments to be made, and must consider comments received within the time allowed.
(4)  The Minister is to cause a copy of each report to be laid before both Houses of Parliament within 30 sitting days after receiving the report.
(5)  If the Minister, after consideration of the report, is of the opinion that:
(a)  the managers or other persons responsible for any of the locations referred to in subsection (2), or
(b)  the producers of or other persons responsible for any products whose components or packaging comprise litter at any such locations,
are not acting in a manner that minimises littering, the Minister may make recommendations aimed at improving litter avoidance strategies.
146E   Restrictions on release of balloons
(1) Offence of releasing balloons A person who releases 20 or more balloons at or about the same time is guilty of an offence if the balloons are inflated with a gas that causes them to rise in the air.
Maximum penalty (for a corporation or an individual): 10 penalty units.
(2) Offence of causing or permitting release of balloons A person who causes or permits the release (whether by one or more than one person) of 20 or more balloons at or about the same time is guilty of an offence if the balloons are inflated with a gas that causes them to rise in the air.
Maximum penalty (for a corporation or an individual): 10 penalty units.
(3) Aggravated offence A person is guilty of an aggravated offence under this subsection if the person commits an offence under subsection (1) or (2) and the number of balloons released is more than 100.
Maximum penalty (instead of any penalty under subsection (1) or (2)):
  in the case of a corporation—55 penalty units, or
  in the case of an individual—33 penalty units.
(4) Exceptions Subsections (1)–(3) do not apply if:
(a)  the balloons are released unintentionally and without negligence, or
(b)  the balloons are released inside a building or structure and do not make their way into the open air, or
(c)  the balloons are hot air balloons that are recovered after landing, or
(d)  the balloons are released for scientific (including meteorological) purposes.
(5) Aggravation not proved If the court is satisfied that a person charged with an offence under subsection (3) is not guilty of that offence but is satisfied on the evidence that the person is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) or (2), the court may find the person guilty of the offence under subsection (1) or (2), and the person is liable to punishment accordingly.
(6) Evidence In any proceedings under this section:
(a)  it is not necessary for the prosecutor to establish the exact number of balloons released, and
(b)  evidence that a balloon rose in the air after being released is, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, evidence that the balloon was inflated with a gas that caused it to rise in the air.
146F   Application of Part to State waters
This Part extends to State waters within the meaning of the Marine Pollution Act 2012, but not so as to make a person liable to be punished for both:
(a)  an offence under this Part, and
(b)  an offence under the Marine Pollution Act 2012 or the regulations under that Act.