Canberra smokers who litter their cigarette butts in public places could soon face a $500 fine for the act, regardless of whether it was still alight or not.
Thinking of driving with an unsecured load? Well, that's set to be a $1500 fine. And the more you litter, the bigger the fines you will face.
The ACT government dealt with some 800 reports of illegal dumping last financial year, and it cost ratepayers about $2 million to clean up. So the government is looking to up the penalties.
City Services Minister Chris Steel introduced a bill to extensively overhaul the territory's littering laws, which for example lifts the fine for dropping a cigarette butt from $60 level now, to almost 10 times that level.
The new changes, which were revealed in the Assembly on Thursday, will constitute the first major overhaul of the territory Litter Act since it was passed about 15 years ago.
The laws will also aim to address illegal dumping across the city and propose new measures to help address people hoarding rubbish in Canberra's public places.
The proposals include a wide range of fine increases for littering, which will see littering of small items like a lolly packet rise from $60 to $150 and penalties for not securing a load on a vehicle will increase from $500 to $1500.
After seeing their impact elsewhere, the government is also taking preemptive action so its laws can cover dumped share bikes, if it decides it needs fines to deal with the issue in the future. The government recently signed off on a 12-month extension of Canberra's dockless bike share scheme and Canberra has so far largely avoided the problems that have plagued operators interstate.
Mr Steel said the new laws would strengthen the government's measures available to combat littering, in an effort to reduce and deter people from littering.
He said the proposed laws would also create a framework for escalating offences similar to other jurisdictions, where penalties rose with the volume, mass or nature of litter dumped.
'If you litter from a vehicle, it will be up to the vehicle owner to explain'- City Services Minister Chris Steel
The laws will also give the government more powers to quickly remove abandoned vehicles, such as car wrecks, from public land where they represent low or no actual value.
Under the new laws, car registration details will also be used, as will more closed circuit television, to help identify people littering across the territory.
"Under these laws if you litter, from or near a vehicle, it will be up to the vehicle owner to explain who pays the fine," Mr Steel said.
The overhaul will increase the vast majority of fees for littering and illegal dumping, with fees for small items like lolly wrappers to rise from $60 to $150.
Fees for littering if the item is slightly larger, but less then 1 litre, will rise from $200 to $300, as will fess for not properly disposing of items that escapes into another place and putting things of an inappropriate size or nature into a publicly-owned bin.
It will also create a sliding scale of new offences for littering in a similar fashion to the schemes in other jurisdictions.
These fines will include a $500 fine for dumping something between one litre and 10 litres, $1000 fine for dumping items between 10 litres and 200 litres and $1500 for dumping rubbish between 200 litres and one tonne.
A new $300 fine will also be created for people, potentially such as hoarders, who do not comply with a notice to remove litter.
The laws also include measures to manage hoarding in what the government says is a sensitive manner, given the relationship between the practice and mental health issues.
Those changes will create an escalating regulatory framework to deal with litter on private properties, which would include education and awareness moves by regulators, a show cause and notice to remedy.
But if a hoarding issue is not resolved after a notice to remedy is issued, the government would be able to issue an abatement order to allow it to either enter a site to clean it up, if other efforts have failed.
A range of new measures will also penalise people who are found littering near vehicles, or using cars to dump whitegoods and ignoring any official before driving away, or illegal dumping of mattresses, where the car can be identified.
As the territory looks to encourage more use of share bikes, it will also create a minor change to ensure the government has powers to use the new fines system to penalise dumping of the bikes in the future.