Craig Marsh has lived near the once pristine Worrigee Nature Reserve for the past 16 years, and he’s becoming increasingly frustrated and angry at the amount of litter and rubbish in the forest.
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“I used to mountain bike ride through the forest and it was beautiful, there was no pollution and the wildlife was in abundance,” Mr Marsh said.
“It’s absolutely terrible now, there’s litter and building materials everywhere.”
Mr Marsh said the dumping began late last year, and had progressively worsened.
“It all started to come about with the development Worrigee,” he said.
“There are broken pipes, building materials, general rubbish and big polystyrene sheets everywhere. There’s even a burnt out car.”
One of Mr Marsh’s main concerns was the impact the dumping would have on wildlife.
According to the Office of Environment and Heritage, the nature reserve is home to endangered flora and fauna, including the green and golden bell frog and Illawarra greenhood orchid.
The Worrigee area is one of very few areas where the green and golden bell frog and Illawarra greenhood orchids still exists.
“I’ve noticed that a lot of the wildlife has been pushed further into the forest and is more scarce,” Mr Marsh said.
“I’m also concerned about how the polystyrene will effect the wildlife both on land and in the creek when it breaks down.”
Mr Marsh, who said the dumping was a deterrent for visitors and tourists, also believed that signage or cameras needed to be installed by Shoalhaven City Council to stop offenders.
“There are obviously builders dumping their materials in here and council needs to stop and fine those offenders,” he said.
“I think builders and contractors whether they are local or not need to be spoken to about the issue and the laws need to be laid down.”
“It needs to stop.”
A Shoalhaven City Council spokesperson said dumping at the Worrigee Nature Reserve was a “continuing issue”.
“Council is actively trying to work on with the owner of the land, National Parks, to highlight the Reduce Illegal Dumping campaign,” the spokesperson said.
As a lot of the dumped material is construction related, the spokesperson said council had been speaking with site managers.
“With the high winds, compliance officers have been talking to business building site managers to secure items so they don’t blow in the vicinity,” the spokesperson said.
“Other illegal dumping is investigated and if an offender is identified, they must clean up the rubbish themselves. If there is no evidence, cleaning falls on National Parks to clean up.”
While surveillance cameras are currently installed in dumping hot spots, the spokesperson said council would work with National Parks to further manage the issue.
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