Eyes in sky on Great Lakes dumpers

GOVERNMENT investigators are headed skywards to get a bird's eye view of illegal dumping across the Great Lakes.

The Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water launched Eyes in the Sky yesterday, a program that aims to identify illegal landfills and new dumping hot spots.

Department acting director-general, Simon Smith said the compliance campaign used a helicopter fitted with special camera and GPS equipment to monitor and catch illegal dumpers.

Mr Smith said illegal dumpers generally liked to do their dirty business away from the public eye, finding remote and secluded places to dump waste and spoil bush and farmland. It could mean a $5000 on-the-spot fine plus expensive clean-up costs or up to $1 million if the matter goes to court, he said.

Investigators will wrap up air monitoring today, confirming sites for department and council officers to investigate.

To report illegal dumping call the 24-hour environment line on 131 555.

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