Holy guacamole: Student’s big fine for chucking avo seed
A PERMACULTURE student says common sense went out the window when she was fined $533 for throwing an avocado seed into bushland.
Trimayne Meader, 26, was a passenger in a car driving along Steve Irwin Way at Beerwah last month when she wound down her window and threw the skin and seed of an avocado.
Once she had finished eating the fruit, which she got for free from a roadside stall, Ms Meader said she had checked there was no cars behind her before disposing of the scraps.
But her precautions weren't good enough for a police officer travelling in the opposite direction.
"He did a U-turn to pull us over and asked what I had thrown out the window," Ms Meader said.
"I thought he would let us go when I told him it was just the skin and seed of an avocado but he asked me where he should make out a $500 ticket to.
"We offered to go and pick it up but he just kept asking where we wanted the ticket."
The permaculture enthusiast said she thought she was benefiting the land by not adding to a landfill site.
She said she was "so careful" with her waste that she made her own compost at home.
"The officer told me I should have put the seed in the bin," she said.
"I asked him for compassion because I had lost my jobs in the pandemic but he didn't care.
"I couldn't believe that's the world we live in, I was really upset."
A Queensland Police Service spokeswoman told the Daily the fine was for the offence of "injurious matter on roads" under the Transport Operations Road Use Management Act.
The Act states "Any person who deposits or drops or causes or suffers to be deposited or dropped on any road any matter, substance, or thing likely to cause injury, damage, or danger to any person, vehicle, tram, train, or animal, and being any wood, stone, sand, gravel, nail, tack, scrap iron, glass, wire, tin, bottle, thorn, clipping, oily or sticky substance, or other matter, substance or thing whatsoever, shall be guilty of an offence".
The spokeswoman said if the matter was then to cause damage or injury to another motorist, further penalties could apply.
"Roadside litter is an ongoing problem throughout Queensland, and it is the responsibility of every road user to help prevent littering or ejecting items from a vehicle which could cause injury or damage," she said.
"Refuse should be disposed of in an appropriate way."
Ms Meader said common sense should be applied when issuing fines for discarding organic matter.
"I can understand that throwing things out the window could be dangerous to bike riders and all sorts but I had checked no one was behind us or next to us," she said.
She said she was considering contesting the fine.