More than $10000 has been spent this financial year on removing illegally-dumped toxic asbestos in four of the region’s state forests, including Tallarook State Forest.
‘‘This type of behaviour shows no regard for the health and wellbeing of other forest users, our staff, native animals and the environment,’’ Forest Fire Management Victoria’s Murrindindi district manager John Steer said.
‘‘It is appalling behaviour. In the latest incident, a large pile of asbestos and other rubbish was dumped in the Mt Disappointment State Forest in the lead-up to the busy Easter holiday period.
‘‘It has since been professionally removed but the illegal dumpers are getting more and more cunning, and the volumes they are dumping are astounding.
‘‘If you employ an asbestos contractor to remove your asbestos, take the time to check their credentials and ask to view the EPA tip receipts before paying for their services. There are some contractors charging people to collect their asbestos but rather than legally taking it to the appropriate landfill, it is being dumped in our forests.
‘‘It is a costly process to remove illegally dumped rubbish, with Forest Fire Management Victoria paying thousands each year to remove waste.
‘‘This is money that could be spent on improving access tracks and facilities for campers, hikers and four-wheel drivers.
Mr Steer said if you see any suspicious behaviour or witness an illegal dumping, report it to a customer service centre on 131186, the EPA or the local police, and if it is safe to do so, write down the vehicle’s number plate.