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Journeys : Feb March 2012
Member in focus Jeffrey Mitchell lives in Newstead. He is a disability carer and has been a member of the RACT for 15 years. Why did you join the RACT? I joined the RACT to get us out of a spot in emergencies. I haven’t needed it much but I feel happier knowing I can always call them if something does go w rong. What’s the most memorable time you’ve been helped by being a member of the RACT? When we were travelling to Adelaide the water pump seized up. I rang the RACT and they put us in touch with the RAA and they were ver y helpful. It is great that the cover works interstate. Tell me about your current car. I drive a Toyota Camry wagon. Do you have any stickers on your car? Our car has Scouts stickers because the whole family is heavily involved in Scouting. What is your biggest motoring gripe? Tailgaters are my biggest gripe because it is so dangerous – the person tailgating never knows when the car in front might brake. If I am allowed two gripes, the other one is the condition of the roads we travel on when we drive to Hobart to visit family. We go down there a lot and the road conditions are poor. Poor road conditions make it less safe for driving. After the family photos, what is your most precious material possession, the thing you would try to grab if there was ever a fire? Definitely my cockatiel, he is quite a personality! What is your most memorable holiday moment? Spending three nights in Paris in the spring. It was so beautiful and I got all soppy and romantic and proposed to my wife there, and she said yes. That was pretty memorable. What about your favourite holiday destination? In Tasmania, I like where my parents live at Dodges Ferry. We go down there for holidays and it is just a two minute walk out the back gate and we are on the beach. You just can’t beat that for a holiday. Where do you plan to spend your next holiday? We are going to Maryborough in Queensland to go to a Scout jamboree. Our holidays are often related to Scouting so we are lucky that jamborees are often in beautiful places. Great recycling you may say, and a good use for the lost mater ial, but why not stop waste and losses at source? May we suggest regular maintenance and inspection procedures be developed, targeting those areas where the losses are most likely to occur? Over the past 20 years we and ver y often our guests clean the beaches abutting our proper ty, the Labillardiere Estate, but the quantity continues unabated. (Check the video at w w w.youtube. com /watch?v=K _9HGJm0mPo.) True, there have been some changes – there are fewer fertiliser bags, the plastic loops that hold beer cans have all but disappeared and the number of small ropes with loops has reduced significantly. This is in part due to efforts and advances made in packaging as a result of the Flotsam and Jetsam Project initiated by Parks & Wildlife education officer Janet Slater with Fisheries in 1991. In addition, industry fish farms have implemented a program of colour-coding ropes so that their losses may be identified. This is a great initiative because now far m managers, w ith feedback from the public, will have a more realistic picture of the debris from their far ms. Many beaches are cleaned by well-meaning individuals and Coastcare groups who diligently comb the shores and remove flotsam and jetsam, but in general there is no overall reduction of the quantities reaching the land. Each time a group heads to the coast, more bags of debris are collected. The real dilemma remains that despite various initiatives over the years, there seems to be no improvement. A recent walk along the South Coast Track illustrated that even remote locations are not immune. On every beach we traversed and at most campsites, rubbish was accumulating. Walkers frequently pick up bits of wreckage from the beaches, mostly from commercial shipping and fisheries, then dump it at campsites, perhaps expecting the good fairies to whisk it away. Too frequently others see it as an opportunity to discard their personal rubbish as well, so added to the lumps of rope, discarded buoys and miscellaneous shipping debris, are tin cans, soup packets, damaged tents, discarded ground sheets and numerous other bits of camping parapher nalia that, now used, have become too much of a burden to carry. The solution to these problems is not more clean-up, although clean up we must, but to re-educate ourselves to never discard rubbish negligently and to campaign collectively in the home, school curricula, workplace HSE standards and procedures, hiking, camping, boating, driving magazines and guide books and through community participation to be responsible for our rubbish. Industries have standards and these must be reviewed, updated and observed. Boaties, surfers and walkers have guidelines and these should be rigorously followed – the overall r ule being never leave behind what you haven’t first consumed! Adrian and Allegra w ww.brunyislandexper ience.com In our community February / March 2012 11
Apr May 2012