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Clean Up - Olney and Wyong State Forests

On March 1st 2020, Clean Up Australia Day Parts of Olney State Forest and Wyong State Forest were the centre of attention for members of Four Wheel Drive Clubs. The event was organised by the Hunter Region Four Wheel Drive Council in cooperation with Forest Corp and was attended by members of Newcastle and Districts Four wheel Drive Club, Port Hunter Four wheel Drive Club, as members of the Hunter Region Four Wheel Drive Council, and the Land Rover Owners Club from Sydney.

We met at a clearing off Mandalong Road and after vehicles and trailers jockeyed for parking spots the briefing by Noel began at 9 am. The aim of the day was explained, all the paperwork run through, safety precautions emphasised and two members of the Report Illegal Dumping Squad and their role introduced.

All attending signed on for the day, were broken into groups and given jobs, collected gloves and rubbish bags and set off to their allocated areas to begin the hard work. Noel and his assistants headed off to the selected meeting spot to set up the Hunter Region Four Wheel Drive Council trailer for the BBQ lunch and to clean up the surrounding area.

One large group headed off to an area of Wyong State Forest along with large trailers and the Forest Corp truck while the two other groups headed off to Curtis Road and Tobins Road with their trailers and willing hands. It is amazing the amount and type of rubbish people dispose of in the bush.

Everything from bicycle frames, tyres, children’s toys, building materials, car parts, clothes and a large plastic swimming pool among other things were extracted and taken to the tip. 

By lunch time workers and loads of rubbish began to trickle in to the BBQ area. The superbly prepared sausage sandwiches were gratefully demolished and the cold soft drinks and water hit the spot. A silent auction which raised $50 for Camp Quality was held for a 2.3 litre pail of honey donated by a local beekeeper who turned up and praised our efforts. 

The compulsory group photo was taken, the last of the trailers was emptied into the Forest Corp truck, all the gear packed up and everyone headed off.

Congratulations to all those who took part and donated their time and considerable effort to help clean up part of our bush. Particular thanks must go to Noel Skimmings and Brock Smith from the HR4WD Council, their helpers in the early survey, and Andrew Lynch from Forest Corp.

Some Facts and Figures:

45 people, including 5 kids, 8 trailers, 1 truck, removed between 5 and 7 tonnes of rubbish including approximately 100 tyres from the bush.

3 Four Wheel drive Clubs attended: Port Hunter Four Wheel Drive Club,     Newcastle and Districts Four Wheel Drive Club, Land Rover Owners Club of Sydney. Forest Corporation provided a truck and driver. The Report Illegal Dumping Squad sent two investigators.

Well Done Everyone!

Words: Steve O’Brien (ND4WD Club) Photos: Joan O’Brien, Noel Skimmings, Steve O’Brien (ND4WD Club)