Picnic filth left behind

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FERAL picnickers have trashed one of Cockburn’s most picturesque and popular beach parks.

Over the Christmas and New Year break a mountain of rubbish has blown into fragile bushland surrounding John Graham reserve at Woodman Point,.

A Bush Forever site, it’s home to 93 species of birds including rare golden whistlers, blue wrens and brown goshawks.

A WA parks and wildlife worker, who didn’t want to be named, spent two days cleaning the picnic area and the entrance to the park and hadn’t even made it to the bush to assess the problem.

He told the Herald it was likely to be written off because the department didn’t have the resources to cope.

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DPAW’s response appears to back him.

“Parks and Wildlife staff usually focus on the main picnic area for rubbish removal at John Graham reserve during busy periods,” the department said in an unnamed statement to the Herald.

“The task of removing rubbish through the bushland areas is usually tasked to work crews from the department of corrective services, or a larger organised clean-up effort with extra staff based at Woodman Point.”

But our worker on the ground says it’s pretty rare to see prisoners in the park, while volunteers prefer to concentrate on the beach itself.

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Perth residents Kelly and Tara were catching up with a friend from Adelaide under the shade of one of the park’s regionally significant tuart trees when the Herald dropped by.

“I think it’s disgusting,” Kelly says of the picnickers’ behaviour, adding it’s clearly more than the usual amount of wind-blown rubbish you might expect on a busy weekend.

“It’s such a beautiful area and it has such a potential,” Tara says.

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Earlier she’d tried to put some rubbish in one of the park’s bins, but says it was already overflowing.

The pair’s friend Dani says her hometown doesn’t have any parks quite like John Graham, and she’s aghast the litterers are so cavalier.

DPAW says it provides 27 bins around the park, which should have been adequate for the holiday period, particularly as they are emptied twice a day on weekends.

But it still wants people to take home their own rubbish when possible, and dob in any litterers.

“John Graham reserve is a popular area for social gatherings, not a rubbish dump,” the release says.

“It is very disappointing when people litter in shared public spaces and we urge the community to do the right thing fro the benefit of other visitors and the environment.”

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