Picture this – you’ve got a filing cabinet and it’s in great condition, but you don’t need it anymore.
You think about selling it online, but decide to do the generous thing instead and donate it.
You drive to your local Vinnies after work but the shop is shut, so you leave the cabinet beside the shop’s back door.
You drive off feeling like you’ve done a good deed, only to receive a $2,135 fine for illegal dumping from Brisbane City Council months later.
That’s exactly what happened to Brighton father Bradley Haynes.
“I was trying to do the right thing, I had no idea or inclination that I was dumping,” Mr Haynes said.
Bradley says the exorbitant fine has discouraged him from donating in the future.
“It does put a bit of a bad taste in your mouth with donating to charities.”
Marlene Faisal, a 70-year-old pensioner, from Taigum also received a $2,135 fine from Council when she tried to donate a bedhead.
She’s been a regular donator at her local lifeline for years.
“I thought the fine was a hoax, I thought it was somebody trying to get money out of me,” Ms Faisal said.
“I donated furniture, I did not donate any rubbish.”
Marlene and Bradley’s number plates were captured by Council cameras set up outside the op shops.
They were installed to prevent people from leaving garbage outside charity stores and stop thieves from stealing donations, but others trying to make genuine donations are also being penalised.
Both the father and pensioner wrote to their local Councillor Jared Cassidy to try and get their fines overturned.
Councillor Cassidy then wrote to the Lord Mayor asking for a review of the fining system and better education for residents.
“I acknowledge that fines for illegal dumping in these cases are to deter donations from being tampered with or stolen, however, there is a complete lack of education for residents,” Cr Cassidy said.
“Had these people known they would be fined for leaving donations, I’m certain they would not have left their donations outside the store,”
“A simple warning would’ve been just as effective as a $2,000 fine in these cases.”
Cr Cassidy has asked the Lord Mayor to revoke the fines.