In September 2015 I wrote about a car that had been dumped & set on fire at Boat Harbour on the Cooks River at Hurlstone Park. Thankfully Canterbury Council had the car removed from the site the following week. See – http://bit.ly/1KFSyhi
What has disappointed & somewhat alarmed me is that a large amount of debris from the burnt out car has been left behind. I have come here almost weekly since this incident happened & noticed that nothing has been done to remove the rest of the debris. It’s as though the Council believes removing the car was sufficient, but it is clearly not in my opinion.
I have brought others to look at the site to get their opinion & feedback as to whether I am making a mountain out of a molehill. Every one of them has agreed with me.
There is a lot of glass around, plus bits of burnt tyre with wire, larger chunks of melted plastic & other bits that I cannot identify.
The area still smells, as the ground has been seriously polluted from this incident. Much of the glass & other debris is right to the edge of the riverbank & I imagine that in the past few weeks, bits of the debris has been sent to the river via the storms we have had.
The grass is slow to grow because of the polluted ground, but it is growing. This means that in time it will hide all the wire, plastic, burnt metal & glass.
I believe this is a major hazard for both people & for wildlife that frequent this area. We may not know if a water bird has cut its feet in the glass, but it is a matter of time before a child or adult sustains a serious injury here.
In time much of this litter will also end up in the river causing ongoing problems there too.
I do not understand why Canterbury Council has not had this patch of land cleaned properly as it does constitute a public & environmental health issue. It’s one thing to say we love the river & it is another thing to ignore easily cleanable pollutants like this. I call on Canterbury Council to finish the job here & remove the top level of burnt & polluted soil so that it does not enter the river. Doing this will also remove the hazardous material & glass preventing injury to people & wildlife.
I also repeat my request that Canterbury Council also make this small peninsula a bird sanctuary to match the peninsula on the other side. That initiative has already proven to be a resounding success. It would not take much to provide real safety for the birds & prevent any future incidents by people who disrespect the river & the wildlife that live here.