Water anyone? A rusted hot water system lies abandoned on the beach in a sanctuary zone.
Water anyone? A rusted hot water system lies abandoned on the beach in a sanctuary zone.

Sanctuary zone 'like a dump'

MERRICK McCallum of Grafton calls it “a bloody big mess”.

Andrew Lugg, Clarence South area manager for the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), calls it “flotsam and jetsam”.

Both men are referring to the amount of rubbish which has accumulated along the coastline north of Station Creek in the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

Mr McCallum and his daughter, Ashleigh, were horrified to discover “hundreds, if not thousands of plastic bottles” scattered along the high tide mark, the boundary line between the Marine Parks sanctuary zone and Yuraygir National Park, during a camping trip last month.

“We were saddened and shocked to see such a beautiful area resembling a rubbish dump,” Mr McCallum said.

“The area is a sanctuary zone and we found a six-foot high hot water system rusting away on the beach,”

Mr Lugg said the term “flotsam and jetsam” was the name given to rubbish that “washes ashore on the tide”.

“The coastline is in a remote area of the park where there is no vehicle access or walking tracks and all the rubbish there comes in via the ocean,” he said.

“NPWS perform clean ups after a storm passes over the area and we frequently do pick ups in areas popular to the public.”

Mr McCallum said the pollution lying across the stretch of coast was sickening.

“There is a lot of timber amongst the rubbish and my concern is if the timber has been arsenic treated, what impact would that have on the environment if it is left there to rot?”

Mr McCallum and his daughter were camped at Station Creek and walked north along the beach, observing the rubbish on the shoreline.

“The total area of land affected by rubbish begins 500 yards up from Station Creek and continues along the coast for roughly 6km,” he said.

“It’s sad because it’s a beautiful world we live in and we are the caretakers of the planet.

“We need to ensure we preserve the environment for future generations.”

A spokesperson for the Solitary Islands Marine Park released the following statement:

“A Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water spokesperson thanked the member of the public for the information and said it was a good reminder to the public that rubbish dumped in or near waterways could spoil and pollute pristine beaches.

“A joint clean-up operation between NPWS and the Marine Parks Authority had taken place within the last 12 months in the area and a NPWS patrol would check the remote area in question when next on patrol in the region,” the statement said.

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