Litter concerns at Lake Eppalock

A new ‘Green Army Team’ will patrol Lake Eppalock in the coming months, delivering a series of environmental works including clean-ups.

It follows concerns voiced about the amount of rubbish along the lake’s foreshore.

Heathcote resident Kym Edsall visits a spot at the lake near the Moorabbee Lodge Caravan Park boat ramp and sees a fair quantity of rubbish there regularly.

On a recent visit, Ms Edsall said, she and friends encountered people not familiar with the area who bagged their waste up, assuming there would be a rubbish collection at the boat ramp.

She said she would like to see a bin installed at the site, as most people tried to do the right thing.

Goulburn-Murray Water’s general manager customer operations Scott Barber said operations staff and contractors conducted regular patrols and programs at the lake, including litter removal.

But the responsibility to keep the area clean lies with visitors.

“Like many regional parks and bush reserves, GMW has a policy of ‘carry-in, carry-out’ when it comes to litter management at Lake Eppalock,” Mr Barber said.

Mr Barber said there was signage at recreational areas around the lake asking people to take their rubbish with them.

Unfortunately, he said, staff found a range of items dumped around the lake, including broken glass, televisions, fridges, mattresses and commercial rubbish.

“Penalties apply for illegal dumping of rubbish and disregard of the environment,” he said.

The Green Army Team’s work over the next five months will include cleaning up and disposing of rubbish, controlling weeds, improving signage and fencing, and replanting native vegetation.

The federal government-funded initiative comes through a partnership between Goulburn-Murray Water and North Central Catchment Management Authority.

Fines for the illegal dumping of waste can run into thousands of dollars.

The fine for littering from a vehicle is $317, which grows to $634 if the item is burning, such as a lit cigarette butt.