Keep our rivers clean

By Thomas Moir

Greater Shepparton City Council receives more than 200 litter and illegal dumping reports each year, which costs about $100000 for its local laws department to investigate, clean up and enforce.

Rubbish dumping around the Goulburn and Broken Rivers was an ongoing issue identified by all land managers as well as the community, the council said in a statement when asked about litter along the city’s rivers.

The council in collaboration with RiverConnect and other partners is currently developing a community awareness campaign about the environmental impact of rubbish and the importance of protecting natural areas.

‘‘This will involve media coverage, signage and an educational aspect involving local schools. In addition, we are increasing surveillance on dumping hot-spots and working with authorities on new initiatives to ensure our river environment is healthy,’’ a council statement said.

‘‘The important thing though is for people not to dump their rubbish in our rivers.’’

Rubbish dumping was costing the community and land managers including Parks Victoria, VicRoads, EPA Victoria and the council, the statement read.

‘‘Not only is it costly to our municipality, it also places the public and the environment at risk.’’

The council stressed rivers were the ‘‘life blood of our community, landscape and environment’’ linking the mountains to the Murray and acting as a ‘‘critical corridor for wildlife and plants’’.

‘‘They are important areas for recreation such as fishing, canoeing, boating, camping, bushwalking and birdwatching.

‘‘They require all land managers to work together to manage them to the best possible standard.’’

Reports were typically passed on to the responsible land manager who investigated the situation and cleaned up the rubbish, the council said.

It also catches a lot of the rubbish coming through stormwater drains before it gets into the river in the gross pollutant traps.

Greater Shepparton City Council encourages the community to report rubbish and anyone dumping rubbish on 58329700.