4WD volunteers pitch in for clean-up
Dumping ground: Some of the rubbish collected by volunteers at Wilbinga.

Wilbinga is about 60km north of Perth, just past Yanchep and Two Rocks. The area is a popular place for off-road drivers because of its accessibility and the opportunity to tackle several types of sand driving.

From sandy tracks and uneven sandhills to sand dunes and beach driving, there is something for even the most discerning off-roader. Unfortunately, popularity comes with a downside - rubbish. But recently some of the recreational 4WD fraternity decided to join forces and clean up the area.

Co-ordinated by the Wilbinga Shacks 4x4 Crew and supported by Track Care WA and the WA 4WD Association (Inc), the volunteers spent the day removing all kinds of rubbish - from household waste to dumped cars and tyres.

The Gingin Shire provided a truck at the end of Wilbinga Road to remove the rubbish to the tip. The groups worked their way back and forth using trailers to transport the rubbish to the truck.

"A fair amount of rubbish still remains in the area but what was collected at short notice by those who contributed was, to say the least, an awesome effort that needs to be recognised, acknowledged, appreciated and congratulated," Track Care WA president Geoff Couper said.

Another clean up, but on a much bigger scale, is being planned for the Wilbinga area in August.

"With more notice we should be able to make a huge impact on this area and get it really cleaned up," Mr Couper said. "Then it's just a question of getting information out there to keep it clean and keep on top of the clowns that see it as their right to do the wrong thing."


Several months ago I reported on the dispute between Taffy Abbotts, longtime manager of Mt Hart Station in the Kimberley and the Department of Environment and Conservation over the renewal of Mr Abbotts' contract after 20 years in the position.

Following the recent release of a joint statement from the two parties, it seems they have been able to finally reach an amicable agreement.

Although details of the agreement have not been released, DEC's deputy director-general parks and conservation Jim Sharp said: "The department appreciated Mr Abbotts' contribution at Mt Hart and understood his desire to take on something new after 20 years.

"I am pleased that we have been able to end our association with Mr Abbotts on a positive note and I wish him well with his next venture."

Mr Abbotts confirmed that he was leaving Mt Hart voluntarily.

"I love that Mt Hart country so much and I have nothing but the deepest respect and appreciation for the incredible characters of the local Kimberley community who have stood by me over all these years," he said.

"I hope those who take over the running of that special place I have called home, and cared for, will do it justice and continue to conserve the historic homesteads and gardens for both the people of the Kimberley and wider Australia."

DEC will continue to operate Mt Hart as a tourism facility, with business as usual during tourist season this year, having appointed Stephanie Toy as manager.

The department plans to lease the property to a commercial operator from next year and will soon call for expressions of interest.

The West Australian

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