Wilbinga Clean Up

Wilbinga Clean Up

June 16, 2022 Club Magazine 0

Saturday 14th May 2022

All Tracks attendees:

Richard & Naomi – Patrol to start with then Pajero + trailer (All Tracks Group Leader)

Geoff & Sofia – FJ + trailer (Event Coordinator)

Lin – FJ

Keith & Kirk – Ranger

Alex – Colorado

Marek – Colorado

James – Jiminy

Ivo – Landcruiser

Simon – Perentie

Shane & Emily – Triton

Roger – Landcruiser

Dave – Prado

Gary – Landcruiser

            Firstly, I want to say a big thank you to all the volunteers that made the time to come out and help with this community clean-up. The clean up of the Wilbinga Conservation Park is usually an annual event held in May, but because of various restrictions due to the spicy cough it had been cancelled for the last two years. Apart from a small extra one done in October 2020. The actual day is organized by Parks & Wildlife with the assistance of The Wilbinga Shacks Crew as the adoptees of the reserve. The day, however, can only be a success with the participation of all the volunteers who attend on the day to get it done and this is made up of various groups, clubs & individuals. I’m especially proud of the amazing support from All Tracks and its members. What most people do not understand is the amount of planning that goes into organizing these days in the months before and I commend those people and their passion for the park.

            Naomi & I had arrived home from our month long trip the afternoon before ‘clean up day’, it was great to see that Scout’s Recycling had delivered all the Containers for Change wheelie bins to our house. These were required for the clean-up, and as usual, the guys from the Malaga Depot were very supportive and flexible with meeting our requirements.

The plan was to meet Geoff at Wilbinga Rd early, drop off half the bins for him to take in the southern entry and Naomi & I would go up to Wilbinga Grove to handle all the sign in paperwork and coordinate the volunteers entering from there.

All was going to plan until just after 6.20am when driving along Ocean Reef Rd we had a car come straight through a give way sign, I had no chance to avoid hitting her, thankfully everyone was able to walk away from this. Even though the MG was written off, the Patrol still seemed drivable. After sorting out details, we continued on our way to meet up with Geoff with the trailer.  Now in full daylight, it became apparent that the damage was more than we thought and after finding that it was leaking coolant, we started to make plan B.

Thankfully we managed to get hold of Alex, he was able to pick up my trailer and take Naomi to Wilbinga Grove to cover the paperwork side of things, whilst I limped home to change cars over. A big thank you to Alex for agreeing to drag the trailer through the park and for giving Naomi a lift. It was humbling to see the amount of support from not only our members and the Shacks Crew, but also from total strangers who offered their help once finding out how our morning was going.

            Whilst I was changing cars, Naomi was greeting volunteers, taking care of the DBCA paperwork and getting everyone organized, and the clean-up got under way on schedule from the top end of the park.

The plan was for volunteers to head off in teams, and cover the tracks as they headed towards the north bowl.

Meanwhile, Geoff and the Shacks Crew were taking care of the southern entrance. By the time I got back now in the Pajero, and arrived at Wilbinga, it was getting on for 10.00am. While I was airing down, the DBCA truck arrived. After a quick chat with him, I explained that the truck needed to be parked down the western end of the road, as that is where all the rubbish would be brought out to.

By now, Sam (Swan Coastal Ranger) had arrived with the catering boys, and started heading in towards the shack to prepare the sausage sizzle lunch for all of the volunteers and crew.

Whilst driving west, I managed to get hold of Dave on the radio, he advised that he was leading a group of about 5 vehicles that had split off from the others and were on Bobtail Rd heading south. This worked out well as this track comes out on Wilbinga Rd where I’d sent the DBCA truck, so I arranged to meet with them there. As the truck had only just also arrived, we were able to transfer all the rubbish they had collected along with what the TLCC guys had picked up along Wilbinga Rd.

            We had made a plan for the TLCC guys to continue west, and the vehicles in Dave’s group to head southwest-ish. Using a hill climb that the club has used previously, we checked for litter around the area before continuing west to just above Flat Rocks and then turned north for the run up to the shacks behind the dunes.

Unbeknown to me Geoff & the Shacks Crew had concentrated on the southern parts and we literally ran into them mid convoy as they were now making their way north.

Driving through the dunes provided a bit of “play time” for our group, but once we got to the shacks there was already quite a few vehicles parked, so we decided to start parking in the clearing just to the southeast. The view from the dunes above the shacks made it easy to understand why the original Fisherman built their shacks here and why current owners work hard to maintain the status quo of having a presence in the reserve and working closely with DBCA on its management.

As we made our way down to Ken’s shack, we could see the Parks & Wildlife crew were in full swing cooking up a storm for the masses.

Not everyone came back to the shacks for the sausage sizzle, but those that did grabbed a feed, drink and socialized before it was time to call it a day and start heading out.

            After lunch, and once everyone had made their way out to the awaiting DBCA truck, it was all hands-on deck to help unload trailers and utes.

With the DBCA truck full, we had to stack the excess rubbish neatly next to it, this was going to be collected later by another truck and bobcat.

Whilst we were doing this Shaun from Westcoast 4×4 Recovery was unloading the last of multiple wrecks he dragged out on the day.

All in all, it was a very successful day. With over a hundred volunteers in an estimated 70+ vehicles coming together to volunteer their time and resources to help with the maintenance of the park. Apart from all the waste we collected for disposal, over 1,300 containers were collected for recycling, thus being diverted from landfill and the funds raised has gone back to the Shacks Crew, and to be put towards projects that will benefit all users of Wilbinga.

All the best

Richard Cooper

Footnote: After assessment by a Panel Beater the following Monday, the damage to the Patrol was deemed too extensive and it was written off by the insurance company. Thankfully the other driver was held 100% at fault and everyone walked away from the accident.

So, we bid farewell to the Red Ute.



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