$5,000 fine for illegally dumping furniture in bushland

Media release
A Mirrabooka man has been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay legal costs after he dumped furniture and other household waste in bushland on Hopkins Road, Nowergup on 5 December 2020.

Last updated: 11 November 2021

Hai Phong Nguyen, 33, admitted to dumping the waste, telling investigating officers he thought it was allowed because waste had been dumped by others at the same location. 
He was fined $5,000 with court costs of $788.30. 
The site where the waste was dumped is prone to similar offences and a covert camera operation had been set up by the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) to catch offenders.  
The cameras recorded Mr Nguyen driving a Toyota Rav4 with a cage trailer full of waste, including three lounge chairs and a nail salon chair, into the area. The vehicle was caught on camera a short time later leaving with the trailer empty. Departmental officers later found the dumped waste. 
The maximum penalty for an individual under Section 49A(3) of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 is $62,500. 
DWER Executive Director of Compliance and Enforcement Shaun Hodges said illegal dumpers were taking a big financial risk. 
“Five thousand dollars is a significant amount of money, and this case sends a strong message to dispose of your waste properly,” he said. 
“The best thing to do is to look up your local council online, all the information is there. If you choose to do the wrong thing, you may be caught on camera and face a hefty fine.” 
Illegal dumping can be reported to DWER’s 24-hour Pollution Watch Hotline on 1300 784 782, email pollutionwatch@dwer.wa.gov.au or call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.