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Sometime this weekend someone must have been celebrating something & brought others to share their happiness. Unfortunately they left a potentially dangerous mess behind. It took 2 people 30-minutes to collect string, streamers & fishing line from around one kiosk & I am not sure we got it all.
The outcome of bringing things like string, nylon, fishing line, balloons & streamers to a park & leaving them there is far too often, gross pain & suffering for birds – often for many months. Death may in fact be easier for them. Heaven knows what happens to those that live in the river when this litter makes its way to the water. All it takes for that to happen is a stiff wind or some rain.
I am sick of being witness to this suffering of our supposedly protected wildlife, especially as it is totally preventable. All that is needed is for Marrickville Council to step in & send a Ranger down on weekends & public holidays to educate people & fine them if necessary. A few educational signs with an image of a bird injured by fishing line would not go astray either. Neither would an LGA-wide educational campaign using Council’s resources (like rate notices, libraries, Marrickville Matters etc) to tackle littering.
I do not understand why Marrickville Council cannot have staff trained to help wildlife or at the very least, call in a consultant who can. All the birds have to help them is volunteers from the community wildlife organizations & they are stretched to the limit with a workload that covers the whole of Sydney – or people like us, doing their best. It’s not good enough. If Council won’t do anything to catch the birds to get help for them, then they should be doing all they can to prevent this kind of thing happening to the wildlife as a priority.
This is a rant in 3 shades of red. This afternoon we went to Tempe Reserve & were greeted by a shocking sight next to the Jets car park. Someone had dumped a huge amount of extremely mouldy bread rolls, loaves still in their plastic packaging, plus numerous plastic garbage bags & large paper flour bags. Thankfully the bread was too old & too hard for the birds to eat so they were just standing around staring at a pile of inedible food.
How can Marrickville Council possibly manage this type of behaviour from the community? At least twice a week Council staff empty the numerous garbage bins scattered throughout Tempe Reserve. Despite their work & the presence of plenty of garbage bins, litter is everywhere, especially after the weekend. From dumping woodchip & destroying at least two areas of around 25 square metres each of established landscaping, to car engines, to every possible kind of garbage. I’ve even seen the cover of a fluorescent light deep inside the park.
People drink & toss their plastic cups, water or beer bottles & caps onto the grass surrounding the picnic kiosks or into the bushy area. This happens despite a full-sized garbage bin attached to each of the kiosks.
Despite barricades, cars still openly mount the kerb & drive along pedestrian pathways into the park. Some even think that the ‘Circle of Figs’ is for racing & doing wheelies. Where we could have a park that is serene & for everyone, we end up having a parking lot inside the park often with a car radio blaring because people don’t want to walk a short distance carrying their picnic food.
Coal fire barbeques are used every weekend despite Council signage saying not to do this. Burning coals are dumped in the pockets of bush, often against a tree, in the gardens or under the water tap.
Irresponsible fishermen/women leave fishing line on the ground or bundled up in a crevice. The rocks around the foreshore are jam-packed with garbage. When the tide goes down, the sandy bottom of the river is a tapestry of plastic bags.
Deflated balloons can be found all through the park. People have parties & decorate the kiosks. When they leave they do the fun thing & pop the balloons sending bits of plastic balloon flying. They leave the string or they toss it onto the grass because that’s what you do when you are holding something you don’t want anymore.
Problem is that, because of people’s utter disrespect for the environment, the birds that live in Tempe Reserve are suffering from serious injuries & frankly I’m sick of it.
Tempe Reserve is special because it was once a landfill tip & has been transformed into a very beautiful place. It is also large & has different areas for different activities. It’s surrounded on 3 sides by water so you get to see the movement of the tides & the birds that live on the river.
Many people are not so lucky to have this kind of park in their area so why are certain groups of people treating this park so badly. I can understand if they don’t care about the wildlife, but that they don’t care that they are ruining the park for others really surprises me. Perhaps they don’t notice their negative impact because Marrickville Council staff & a small number in the community clean up after them.
Sorry Marrickville Council. I know it is not your fault & that you have provided a great park with plenty of bins, but you need to do something about this quickly because what is happening to the parks along the Cooks River in Marrickville LGA is spiraling out of control. More people than ever use these parks & many travel to come here.
Fishing has become really popular over the last couple of years despite information in the media that the Cooks River has high levels of sewerage & pharmaceutical contamination. Birds like Cormorants, Ibis & gulls are getting seriously hurt with the number of injured birds rising over the last few months. There is no one, except for community volunteers to help the birds, which I think is a serious problem as well.
The Botany Bay foreshore at Brighton le Sands & Kyeemagh is receiving a battering from those who use the area. People lay blankets & put chairs in garden beds & directly on plants. No area in the park is safe from people. I’ve even seen a 4-metre tree pushed over in the sandy soil because it was in the way of picnickers. It won’t be too long before this kind of behaviour starts happening here.
I am unaware if Marrickville Council employs Rangers for our parks. I certainly have never seen one, read about their presence or heard people talk of them. If we do have Rangers for parks, they need to have a visible presence. If we don’t, then I sincerely believe that the budget should be such that allows for Rangers to be employed & for them to have a visible presence on weekends. It is only when people get fined that they will change their behaviour. End of rant.