Organisations across Cape York are working together to educate people about the need to deal with their rubbish responsibly when travelling around the Cape. Funded by the Queensland Government and coordinated by Cape York NRM, the campaign targets both locals and tourists and urge them to plan ahead for responsible waste disposal before they even hit the road.   

Thoughtful Travelling Cape York spokesperson Jason Carroll said that there is limited waste disposal infrastructure on Cape York, which makes waste disposal difficult, but travellers could help reduce rubbish by planning ahead and making sure they know where waste disposal stations are located.   

“If travellers make a few simple choices like packing minimal plastics and choosing cans, which can be crushed, rather than bottles, they can keep their rubbish to a minimum and transport it back home with them,” he said.

Weipa and Western Cape Tourism spokesperson, Aimee Robinson, said the number one reason people travel in Cape York is to experience its remote and pristine natural environment but that increased littering and illegal dumping were becoming a problem. 

“We all want to enjoy the natural environment of Cape York, whether it’s for fishing, camping or other activities, but arriving at your destination and finding it spoilt by plastic packaging, bottles, cans and even toilet paper, is not what any of us want.

“This campaign is about ensuring that travellers have the practical information they need to deal with rubbish disposal responsibly and encouraging them to be considerate of other travellers who will visit that spot afterwards.”

Cape York NRM’s Conservation Sector Director Barry Lyon said littering didn’t just look unsightly. “When travellers are thoughtless about leaving rubbish behind it can have devastating affects not only for the local wildlife and environment but also on public health. By adding your rubbish to piles that may already be gathering, you are inviting mosquito-borne diseases to come and take up residence.”

People who are planning a trip on the Cape are reminded to plan ahead, take minimal plastics and non-biodegradables, choose cans rather than bottles and use bulk water containers. Taking plenty of sturdy rubbish bags to transport rubbish back home is also recommended. 

To find out how your organisation can get involved call Lyndal Scobell at Cape York NRM on 0488 656 690.

This project is supported by the Queensland Government’s Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program.

About Thoughtful Travelling Cape York

Thoughtful Travelling Cape York is an alliance of Cape York organisations working together to reduce the damaging environmental impacts caused by people travelling on Cape York. Rubbish, spreading weeds, illegal dumping, unplanned fire and illegal access can all create longer term problems for the environment.

The key organisations currently involved in Thoughtful Travelling Cape York include: Cape York Natural Resource Management, South Cape York Catchments, Tangaroa Blue, Cook Shire Council, Cape York Weeds and Feral Animals Inc, Weipa and Western Cape Tourism, Lama Lama Rangers, Yuku Baja Muliku Land Trust, Tourism Cape York, Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, Western Cape Turtle Threat Abatement Alliance, Wenlock Catchment Management Group, Protect Cape York and Regional and Remote Newspapers.

Reporting and Fines

The Queensland Government encourages travellers to report illegal dumping incidents online at https://report-littering-dumping.ehp.qld.gov.au/ or to the Litter and Illegal Dumping Unit on 13 QGOV (13 74 68) or by emailing illegaldumping@ehp.qld.gov.au. Fines start from $1884.

To find out how your organisation can get involved call Lyndal Scobell at Cape York NRM on 0488 656 6930

This project is supported by the Queensland Government's Litter and Illegal Dumping Community and Industry Partnerships Program.