Undalup sends care message

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Sarah IsonBusselton Dunsborough Times

The Undalup Association is asking residents to “care for country” in the wake of Boxing Day beach-littering and illegally lit campfires and hope the message gets through before more damage is done on Australia Day.

Despite more rigorous controls put in place by the City of Busselton for Boxing Day celebrations, litter was still left on beaches and vegetation was damaged, the Times reported earlier this month.

Undalup chairman Iszaac Webb said it was disappointing to continue seeing people disrespect country.

“As a traditional owner of the land, we want people to come down and enjoy the area and not behave in that way,” he said. “We’ve already had land cleared for vineyards, cattle and all the rest, so the places we now have left are the only remnants of old country and traditional sites.”

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Mr Webb also pointed to the importance of “following the rules” in the wake of numerous camp fires burning out of control after being illegally lit during the prohibited fire season.

“We would never light big open fires during Birak, one of the six Aboriginal seasons,” he said.

“An out-of-control fire can burn down a food source, habitat and country that is really significant.”

The City of Busselton said while there had been a notable improvement in the amount of litter dropped at celebrations over recent years, some people still showed disrespect for the environment. “Out-of-control parties, loutish behaviour, the dumping of rubbish and trampling of native vegetation are not examples of Australian pride,” Mayor Grant Henley said.

While the City is implementing controls to prevent littering on Australia Day, Undalup has already planned its own beach clean-ups for after the beach parties.

“We want to make things better, not worse for future generations, because the way we act now will impact what they will be left with,” Mr Webb said.

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