Much of town’s rubbish: Blame the Crown



There is a lot of illegal rubbish dumping in the Municipality of Alice Springs the size of which is  320 square kilometres.

Arrow points to the location of the rubbish mentioned in this report.

The municipality is the Town Council’s responsibility. That includes litter control.

Well, yes and no.

Three quarters (74% in fact) of the municipality is Crown Land.

And there, says Mayor Matt Paterson, the Crown is responsible for cleaning up rubbish, and that means the NT Government.

The council in its Social Order Response Plan urges the use of an app called NeatStreets to report illegal dumping.

Location of the rubbish relative to the Road Transport Hall of Fame.

If you dump rubbish on council land and in the unlikely event of being caught, the council may give you a hammering.

Not so when it comes to rubbish on Crown land that is within the municipality.

We gave construction rubbish dropped some two kilometres west of the Transport Hall of Fame as an example, dating back to June 2021.

Site of the rubbish. Google Earth images.

“Unfortunately it’s not in our jurisdiction to pick that rubbish up,” says Mayor Paterson, “as it’s not in our jurisdiction to pick up the rubbish, or conduct municipal services, in town camps even though they are in our municipality.”

We asked him: “Why can’t the council say to the government, that’s your obligation? Go and pick up the rubbish on your land?”

Says Mayor Paterson: “It’s operational but I know we’re speaking to them quite frequently around illegal dumping. We’re working with the Department of the Environment.”


  1. The only way to get anything done it seems is to put the onus on the ratepayer on one day of the year called “Clean up Australia Day”. It removes the obligation of rate payer funded councils (all over Australia) to actually care about doing their job properly. A fools errand, to make us feel good!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here