Sunday, March 1, 2009

Clean Up Australia Day

Canada Bay is a city with an enormous amount of waterfront - and that waterfront attracts plenty of rubbish.  The canals that feed into the harbour have floating rubbish traps on them to collect the plastic bottles and cans and plastic bags that would otherwise flow into the harbour.  
But plenty more rubbish ends up in the harbour - some blown in from overflowing rubbish bins or carelessly dropped, and some deliberately tossed into the harbour.

630,000 people turned out today to help cleanup their bit of Australia - that's over 5% of the population.  Most of the sites in our area only needed people for 2 hours or so, which is all I put in.  I joined a crew of half a dozen clearing mainly broken glass from muddy mangrove flats.  An earlier crew had concentrated on plastic bottles, leaving us free to concentrate on the remains of dozens and dozens of smashed beer bottles lining the mangroves.

There is clearly no shortage of people who want to keep Australia beautiful, and the number who turnout on the first weekend in March each year continues to grow.  

If people are willing to spend part of their Sunday with perfect strangers picking used syringes and used condoms and broken glass out of a sea of mud, then I hope I can convince some of them to start noticing and reporting other things that need taking care of.

Anyone can pick up rubbish, but generally only council or RTA road workers can fill in pot holes for instance.  I can't fill in the newly emerged monstrous pot hole on Barnstaple Road for instance - but I can ring Council in the morning and tell them about it.  

And why should I do that?  

Because I had a councillor sitting on my lounge on Friday night, drink in hand, telling me that Council as a rule can't fix pot holes that it doesn't know about.  

It's bleeding obvious to him, and bleeding obvious to me, but apparently still not bleeding obvious to a lot of other people.  Roads don't have sensors in them that send a signal back to headquarters when a pot hole opens up.  

If you care about "quality of life" issues in your local area, and you see something that needs fixing, then you need to be prepared to take the next step and tell someone about it - your council, the RTA, Telstra - whoever.  Don't expect somebody else to take care of it for you.  

Thousands of tonnes of rubbish were collected today.  None of that would have happened if everybody in Australia thought that it was somebody else's responsibility to take care of it.  

No comments: