It’s nobody’s problem

Herald journo Ben Smee did a neat a piece on the litter in the Carrington mangroves, with a talky bit to camera by your’s truly. After much detailed investigation Scoop Smee discovered that all that mess in the Carrington mangroves is, in fact, nobody’s problem.

Well I’m glad that that’s sorted!

Much to the relief of the not-responsible organisations we had a tropical low on Saturday, the day the story appeared, and so the creek filled with a torrent and conveniently washed all that nasty litter away. To somewhere else, somewhere where it’s someone else’s responsibility. Maybe the UN. WHO. ASIO. Who cares, as long as it’s not us.


It was a mighty powerful flush all right. This branch probably doesn’t look much here but I can assure you it was bloody big. I took this photo on Saturday afternoon, getting Jambo out for a leg-stretch between squalls.


I was told that the tides on the Gold Coast were huge. They must have been pretty big here in Newcastle too as I was amazed to see the tide pushing back against the deluge this far up the system; it wasn’t even high tide for another few hours.


I was also amazed to see this lot. Plastic bottles really are to floods what cockroaches are to nuclear armageddon.


What does it take to get rid of them? (Did someone say “container deposit legislation”?)

This story does have a kind of happy ending. Ben’s article prompted a bunch of staff from Port Waratah Coal Services to get out and do an emu bob around the mangroves. Nice bit of PR for the coal loader, the volunteers did some great work and we all get a cleaner mangrove. I just hope we can somehow keep on top of the problem, that some authority will put their hand up and take responsibility.

As a small postscript, I sent an email to PWCS asking whoever received it to pass on my thanks and congratulations to the volunteers for getting out there and making a difference. I received an automated reply that said: “Thank you for contacting PWCS. Please be aware that emails delivered to this mailbox will not be read/actioned until Monday 7 January 2013. If the matter is urgent, please call the PWCS 24 hour Community Enquiry Line ,4907 2280, and follow the prompts. Thank You”

It’s reassuring to know that it doesn’t matter how big the organisation, it still takes some bunny to turn off the automatic email response when you get back from holiday. Wonder how many emails they’ve missed in the last seven weeks!


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