Pro­tect­ing par­adise

VOL­UN­TEERS NEEDED TO HELP CLEAN WILBINGA PARK

Joondalup Times - - FRONT PAGE - Laura Pond

A VOL­UN­TEER group tasked with car­ing for a con­ser­va­tion park in Wilbinga is call­ing on fel­low four­wheel drive own­ers to help clean up the 99sq km area.

The Wilbinga Shacks 4x4 Crew will hold its an­nual clean-up of the pop­u­lar four-wheel driv­ing site on May 27.

The group helps main­tain the area un­der an agree­ment with the De­part­ment of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW), aim­ing to keep it free from lit­ter and il­le­gal dump­ing, man­age the qual­ity of the tracks and dis­cour­age an­ti­so­cial be­hav­iour.

It was es­tab­lished in­for­mally by cus­to­di­ans of the four decades­old fish­ers’ shacks near the beach, which have been passed down through generations, and ex­panded to in­clude vol­un­teers.

Vol­un­teer Ge­off Couper has been en­joy­ing four-wheel driv­ing since he was a teenager.

“I just like the out­doors and en­joy­ing the en­vi­ron­ment with friends,” the Pad­bury res­i­dent said.

“It’s a re­ally good so­cial ac­tiv­ity.”

The tracks pro­vide ac­cess to a fish­ing spot known as The Reef and Flat Rocks Beach, which he said was a great place to spend the day swim­ming and snorkelling.

The de­part­ment has worked with the group to in­stall sig­nage in the park di­rect­ing driv­ers to var­i­ous points of interest, as well as a map over­view and rules of use.

Gary Gu­giatti has been vis­it­ing the park since he was a child; his un­cle built an orig­i­nal shack in about 1950 that is now buried un­der sand, and an­other at the ex­ist­ing site in about 1998.

He said it was frus­trat­ing when peo­ple left rub­bish be­hind but be­lieved the prob­lems were caused by a mi­nor­ity, with the ma­jor­ity of users act­ing re­spon­si­bly.

“I can get a trailer load of rub­bish just go­ing into camp,” he said.

“It’s not hard to do; you had room to bring it in, you must have room to bring it out.”

Mr Gu­giatti urged peo­ple to take part in the clean-up day to help main­tain ac­cess to the lo­ca­tion.

“It’s there for a rea­son, to be en­joyed and not messed up. The more you abuse it… they’re go­ing to close it down for every­one,” he said.

The day is be­ing or­gan­ised by the crew, de­part­ment and Keep Aus­tralia Beau­ti­ful.

They are hop­ing for at least 50 ve­hi­cles to at­tend, with trail­ers de­sir­able.

Bags and gloves will be pro­vided and the de­part­ment will serve a bar­be­cue af­ter­wards.

Meet­ing points are on In­dian Ocean Drive at Wilbinga Road and north at Wilbinga Grove be­tween 8am and 9am.

For de­tails, visit www. wilbingashackscrew.com.au.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey d468676

The fish­ers’ shacks in the Wilbinga park.

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