Concern as banks of Tamar River used as dump site

Some of the rubbish that has been dumped on the banks of the Tamar River, near the North Bank redevelopment.  Picture: MARK JESSER

Some of the rubbish that has been dumped on the banks of the Tamar River, near the North Bank redevelopment. Picture: MARK JESSER

A SLEW of waste has been uncovered on the banks of the Tamar River, near the site of North Bank’s multimillion-dollar redevelopment.

Wire, tyres, street signs, supermarket trolleys and pipes – even TVs and a cash register – are among the items partially submerged in mud off a concrete pier at the end of Lindsay Street, Invermay.

Trevallyn resident of 34 years, Dennis James, discovered the rubbish beginning to appear almost eight weeks ago and has monitored the site each day since.

While Mr James has no idea who dumped the material into the river, he visited the site for the first time yesterday and called the find ‘‘disgusting’’.

Mr James has called on the Launceston City Council for answers and believes the culprits are committing the crimes overnight.

‘‘I was looking across the river with my binoculars about eight weeks ago when I first noticed the tyres,’’ he said.

‘‘Then on Thursday the wire was near the car park and on Friday morning it was in the water – they’ve dragged it and lobbed it down there.

‘‘You have a lot of people here [at the North Bank site] working, so why haven’t the workers spotted it?

‘‘I always see this in the morning, after it’s happened, so it has to be happening overnight – it’s disgusting.’’

Despite his concern, Mr James said bringing the rubbish to the attention of North Bank stakeholders was in everyone’s ‘‘best interests’’.

‘‘When the tide is in, this is a beautiful river. I know they [the government] have been trying to get rid of the silt and do something about the image.

‘‘I know Errol Stewart’s mob has plucked out some of [the waste]. There were red and white bollards here in previous weeks.

‘‘He [Mr Stewart] has spent a lot of time clearing up this side of the river.

‘‘Maybe this area should be policed, but I have no idea what can be done.’’

Yesterday, the Launceston City Council condemned the dumping of waste into the river.

‘‘This area falls within the Tamar River Conservation Area and is therefore the responsibility of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment, not the Launceston City Council,’’ acting general manager Rod Sweetnam said.

‘‘The council does not have jurisdiction over this area. We will, however, liaise with DPIPWE on this matter.

‘‘Clearly the council abhors littering or dumping in our waterways and would urge anyone who witnesses it to contact the Litter Hotline on 1300135513.’’

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