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Local clean-up inspires others to jump on board

By Mark Beale

“I PHOTOGRAPH this beautiful town, why can’t I help keep it clean,” was Corinn Stickland’s primary motive to instigate an unofficial clean-up of Airlie Beach among locals on Saturday morning.

She created the event on Facebook which generated some public interest with 18 people responding.

However, only nine people showed up.

Those who spared an hour of their Saturday morning cleaned up rubbish from the Airlie Beach Foreshore and along the main street.

Eco Barge Clean Seas generously donated rubbish bags, gloves and grabbers for the go-getters.

Just over two kilograms of rubbish and nine litres of cigarette butts were collected from the main street alone and 2.1kg of rubbish and seven litres of cigarette butts from the beachfront.

Among the seven helpers, three of them were battling disabilities.

“Just think what able bodies would be capable of,” Ms Stickland said.

“I’m not in it for anything – I just love my town and the Great Barrier Reef,” she continued showing her heart reef tattoo on her wrist.

Ms Stickland posted the results on Facebook community group Whitsunday Noticeboard where she received mass community support and further interest.

A clean-up Proserpine event has since been created by locals for April 11.

“Another person suggested we do these clean-ups weekly which is great,” Ms Stickland said.

“I’d definitely be interested in hosting more and perhaps working side by side with Eco Barge Clean Seas who are all just superheroes.”

Ms Stickland says education is the key.

“We need to educate children and re-educate adults that just even leaving a wrapper behind is wrong,” she said.

“We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world; it blows my mind that we as a town are not leading the way and showing off what we’ve got.”

She said she would one day like to see fines issued for polluting so that even the tourists were aware.

She also hopes to see more bins and outdoor ashtrays right by the main street’s bus stops.

Ms Stickland said she will post potential future clean-ups on the Facebook group Whitsunday Noticeboard.

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