Burnett Heads man Les Blank, who has organised a clean-up of Oaks Beach today, shifts a stack of debris from the beach.
Burnett Heads man Les Blank, who has organised a clean-up of Oaks Beach today, shifts a stack of debris from the beach. Mike Knott

Locals team up to tidy beach

THE Burnett Heads community has rallied around its debris-wracked beach, organising a clean-up early this morning to return it to its usual pristine state following the floods.

Burnett Heads man Les Blank, who was the driving force behind the working bee, said Oaks Beach was a great gathering spot for the community and people had willingly given up their time to help.

The big clean-up was due to start at 5.30am in an effort to get it over and done with before the day warms up too much.

“It’s bloody hot outside,” Mr Blank said.

The retired miner said his call for volunteers to pick up the rubbish on the beach had garnered 10 or 12 people.

“That’s about all that’s needed,” he said.

“It’s not a big beach.”

Mr Blank said the beach had been covered with debris swept down by the floodwaters.

“It’s rubbish that came up on the incoming tide,” he said.

“It looks terrible at the moment.

“If we didn’t clean it up, the rubbish would be there for ages.”

Mr Blank said most of the debris was made up of logs and bushes that had been carried down from far inland.

He said the volunteers were typical of the spirit of the community.

“We live here because we love living here,” he said.

“I’ve lived here for 20 years now – I’m almost a local.

“We’ve got people here who, if they see a bit of rubbish on the ground, they stop and pick it up.”

Mr Blank praised Bundaberg Regional Council for supplying a skip to take away the rubbish.

Cr Danny Rowleson, in whose division the beach is situated, said it was a great team effort.

“Oaks Beach is a patrolled surfing beach and a considerable amount of debris from recent floods has found its way on to the beach as a result of the tidal movement,” he said.

“The community at Burnett Heads have been very diligent in their clean-up efforts of the foreshore and the council has been taking away bags of debris that have been collected.”

Cr Rowleson said the clean-up would provide a safe beach habitat for local surfers and families by removing as much debris as possible.

“We’re pleased to support the community with this initiative,” he said.



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