Lake Mac volunteers in the swim for Clean Up Australia Day 2020

February 27, 2020

Clean Up Australia Day will head beneath the waves this year in Lake Macquarie as more than 50 sites across the City operate as collection points. 

Clean Up Australia Day will head beneath the waves this year in Lake Macquarie as more than 50 sites across the City operate as collection points.

 

Lake Macquarie Mayor Kay Fraser urged residents to sign up at their local site and join in Sunday’s event, now in its 30th year.

 

“Clean Up Australia Day has its origins in Lake Macquarie, and every year we see how committed our community is to cleaning up our precious environment,” Cr Fraser said.

 

Lake Mac’s efforts extend underwater thanks to the efforts of the Combined Hunter Underwater Group (CHUG), a local marine conservation organisation.

 

Member Cath Shorthouse, who will be site supervisor at Swansea Channel, has been involved in the day for more than 10 years.

 

“Initially we just started as a small group who enjoyed marine life and wanted to do our part, but each year I’ve become more invested. The more rubbish I collect, the more I see the impact that debris has on our waterways,” Ms Shorthouse said.

 

“A lot of people probably aren’t aware how much is down there, so we try our best to collect and remove as much as we can.”

 

The Swansea Channel clean-up will be a closed site for experienced divers, however the community are encouraged to do their part cleaning up along our coastal shores.

For Ms Shorthouse, each year provides more discoveries of what people throw into our water.

 

“We find so many different treasures, and some of them are recyclable. We’ve collected sunglasses, shoes, fold up chairs, and anchors. Last year we found a pushbike that had submerged and formed part of a natural reef.”

 

For Eleebana resident Dennis Archibald, the day is an annual occasion to give back to a community he’s so proud to be a part of.

 

“We moved to Lake Mac 23 years ago and one of our first community events was Clean Up Australia Day. The site was in Croudace Bay where we met people who have remained our friends,” Mr Archibald said.

 

Clean Up Australia Day will take place on Sunday 1 March, with various events in Lake Macquarie occurring 9am-5pm. To find your nearest site, head to CleanUp.org

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