By Tricia Mifsud
A GROUP of Kilmore locals have taken it upon themselves to conduct a thorough clean-up of Kilmore Creek, removing at least 40 bags of rubbish and other larger items, hoping to preserve the local wildlife, including platypuses inhabiting the area.
Tam Curran, one of the volunteers, said she was completely shocked by the items the team found in the creek, which was more than litter and general waste that hadn’t been disposed of correctly.
“Scooters, bikes, trolleys, weights from the gym, carpet and so much of it. Wheels had been chucked in as well, which unfortunately some had to remain in the creek because it had become part of the habitats,” Ms Curran said.
Originally, a group of 30 volunteers associated with rescue group Wildlife Rescuers put their hands up for the project, however with COVID-19 restrictions still in place, plans changed to recruit people within 10km of Kilmore and its creek.
Twenty people from town came to Ms Curran’s rescue, and with a COVIDSafe plan in place, the clean-up could go ahead.
Ms Curran said she was overwhelmed with the community’s response to a private social media call-out she made to find some volunteers.
“We wanted people who were aware of the habitats and wildlife in the area, so just for people to be extra careful. It’s great to have people jump in the creek and clean up the rubbish, but we had to be careful that we weren’t pulling up someone’s home,” she said.
“We had even found a few nests that were in the middle of the creek embedded in rubbish that we couldn’t move and had to be careful, and we had to really drive that home with the volunteers we did have on board.”
Ms Curran registered the clean-up with Clean Up Australia, which was able to provide bags and gloves. Mitchell Shire Council provided two trucks to transport the waste along with four staff members to assist the clean-up.
Kilmore business, Fat Rat Trading, also donated two pairs of waders so that the volunteers could get right into the thick of the mess at the creek.
The items pulled out of the creek and surrounding area were easily able to fill up the trucks provided by council, which was then transported away to be disposed of correctly.
Ms Curran said that the Ryans Creek Reserve in near Kingsgate Village in Kilmore was also in a similar state and would be the next area the volunteers target, once restrictions ease to allow more people to take part in clean-up activities.
“The creek that runs through there is absolutely disgusting, and the last time I was there, it was just a dumping ground,” she said.
“There’s cars and couches, and so much more items, and that’s our next project to clean that area.”
Ms Curran urged the community to dispose of rubbish correctly to help preserve wildlife and habitats in the area. She added that there were the services available to assist people to dispose of rubbish correctly.
“There’s people that even come out and collect rubbish, and it cost less than taking it to the tip,” she said