By Richard Bruinsma
Hundreds of plastic bottles and other rubbish scattered around a “drug camp” at Palmwoods will eventually wash downstream and pollute the ocean, a concerned long term resident fears.
The bottles, old tarps, plastic chairs, discarded bed sheets and chip packets are regularly cleaned up along the section of the creek between Palmwoods-Montville Road and Old Bowling Green Road.
It appears that some of the bottles have been used as bongs, but the resident is more concerned about the masses of plastic being washed away in the next flooding rains, to cause damage to our marine ecosystems.
It’s understood almost two wheelie bins were filled with bottles during a recent cleanup, but a subsequent visit to the site by the Sunshine Valley Gazette revealed scores more bottles have returned.
The resident, who asked not to be named for fear of having “rocks thrown on his roof”, has worked with Landcare and the Australian Conservation Foundation to plant saplings in the region.
“My concern is, what they’re throwing in the creek here, is going to end up in the river,” the concerned local said.
“There would have to have been 100 drink bottles and chip packets.
“What also makes me really annoyed, what concerns me, is that these kids are going home high as a kite and probably under achieving there as well.”
An official police spokesman said they were aware of the location, and added it had “been advised anecdotally that the location has been used by local youths as a gathering place for years”.
“Officers attended the area on Saturday afternoon where they located five youths and spoke with them,” the spokesman said.
“Nil drug offences were detected at that time.
“Police will continue to monitor the area and respond to any complaints of illegal activity.”
During the Gazette’s inspection of the site, a young teen, probably aged 14, arrived at the camp and turned away sheepishly when he saw us, but stopped for a chat under the reassurance he wouldn’t be photographed.
“I’ve just come down here looking for my mates,” he said.
“I’ve seen a few bongs down here, but I don’t know about it.”
The picturesque location is quiet and hidden, and has for years been used as an land of discovery for adventurous boys, but more recently has become more dubious and a mini eyesore.
“Council has done two recent clean-ups of this area,” a Council spokesperson said.
“On both occasions, one bag of rubbish was collected -mostly bottles and food wrappers.
“Plastic chairs and a tarp were also removed during the second clean-up.
“Council officers do not believe there is enough evidence to call this site a ‘drug camp’.”
Council Community members can report any further litter or dumping to council by calling 5475 7272.