2017 - July Cleanup Trek (Friday 7th July - Saturday 15th July)
Our Eleventh year of travelling the infamous outback tracks of South Australia. Owing to the closure of the Leigh Creek Coal Field our volunteers based at Quorn, South Australia.
This year we commenced preparations on the camp kitchen and Truck at Quorn on Wednesday 5th July and Thursday 6th July 2017. 30 volunteers including children gathered for the final preparations and briefing.
DAY 1:- Friday 7th July (Quorn Weather-2c Cloudy/windy ) Our daily safety briefing took place at Janet and Greg Franklins yard at Quorn. No group photos now, as some teams were joining us along the way. We hit the road onto the Outback Highway from Quorn to Leigh Creek picking up Tyres and larger rubbish on the roadsides and in parking bays and camping areas. Our medical crew consisting of Illona Bissell and Steven Gordge came across a tourist vehicle rollover with two people injured, they rendered first aid with the assistance of our other member Greg Franklin (Jnr). The Crash was 2 kms south of Farina. We subsequently set up camp nearby whilst our crews awaited the arrival of an ambulance from Marree. Our mobile mechanic Phil Hughes from Victoria and his off-sider Cliff Hosking assisted a caravaner with a broken axle and suspension as well and got him safely to the Farina Camp ground.
DAY 2:- Saturday 8th July (Farina Weather-2c building to 16c cloudy periods) As the crews set off continuing to cleanup the Marree Track then on to the Birdsville Track. Trek Coordinator- Stewy Paxton and crew attended at the FARINA BAKERY (Restoration Site) and purchased morning tea for the crews-14 x Pasties, 6 x Pies and 3 x Sausage Rolls. They then delivered hot bakery items to the crews as they made their way to the front of the pack to pick their zone and enjoy the pasties-------YUMMO is the response) Frank and Richard Lyman joined us along the Birdsville Track in the DEWNR 4x4 truck and plant trailer. We arrived late afternoon and set up camp at the Mungerannie Camp Grounds with camp fees and showers kindly donated by Mungerannie Hotel. We settled in to a great meal and bonfire.
DAY 3:- Sunday 9th July, (Mungerannie Weather-8c building to 18 at Birdsville) Daily briefing was completed after breakfast, some crews off loaded into the trucks from the trailers all sorts of rubbish, tyres and refuelling. Crews then commenced a detailed cleanup of rubbish around the Mungerannie Hotel and Camp Grounds before resuming our cleanup of the Birdsville Track. We were joined late morning by JoAnna Skewes and Matt Westover, (Community Engagement Officer's with Natural Resources SA Arid Lands | Parks and Regions ) They then commenced as one of the pick-up crews on their five kilometre stretch. We set up camp just off the Birdsville Track about 94 kms south of Birdsville
DAY 4:- Monday 10th July, (Birdsville Weather - 10c to 17c Sunny ) After Breakfast , some crews off- loaded more tyres and rubbish to the trucks, we then set off for Birdsville picking up along the way, once in Birdsville we refuelled at Mobil Birdsville, one of our Crew had a 4x4 tyre replaced after a major puncture ($280) and a trailer tyre repaired, set back to that volunteer. Members visited the Birdsville Hotel, Birdsville Bakery and the Visitor Information Centre before departing for the Cordillo Downs Track. Once on the Cordillo Track. We then picked up until base camp by the old ruins on Cordillo Track.
DAY 5:-Tuesday 11th July, (Innamincka Weather - 9c to 20c Sunny) A big breakfast was had and then members continued towards Innamincka, lunch break was taken on the side of the road 65 kms from Innamincka. Crews then left on the last section to camp, once 5 kms from Innamincka most teams worked together on the final section to clean it thoroughly and roll into camp together. Base camp was at the DEWNR Ranger maintenance quarters at Innamincka, our hosts were awesome throughout our stay, even with the invasion of a vocal bunch of volunteers...
DAY 6:- Wednesday 12th July, (Innamincka Weather - 6c to 20c Mostly Sunny) For some of our crew this was a lay day to go fishing, tour the Conservation Reserve, but they had to take their trailers and pickup as well. The rest of us attended the Santos Moomba Recycling centre to unload the two trucks, plant trailer and the 4 big trailers. On leaving Moomba members travelled the Old Strzelecki Track picking up tyres and rubbish.
DAY 7:- Thursday 13th July, (Innamincka Weather - 9c to 21c Sunshine) Crews had the daily safety briefing and then hit the road travelling along Dillon's Highway and Strzelecki Track to Moomba, other crews who had full trailers travelled through to Moomba to unload and one truck also attended to unload tyres from the lay day pickups. Lunch was served by Camp Kitchen Crew at the Information bay for Moomba. Matt and Jo left us to travel through to Port Augusta after lunch. Those crews that had lunch, then began travelling south picking up on the Strzelecki Track whilst four crews continued on towards Moomba. Innamincka to Moomba had not been collected for 3 years owing to wet roads and break downs, so there was a huge amount of rubbish on those roads, with only 4 crews working on it. As a result, camp was set at Popes Bore and all crew's rendezvoused there after dark.
DAY 8:- Friday 14th July, (Moomba Weather - 9c to 20c Sunny) Crews off loaded into the truck and plant trailer and moved full Bulka recycling bags into our camp kitchen truck to make room for the rest of the pick-up. The DEWNR truck and plant trailer left us after lunch to travel through to Port Augusta. All crews then travelled south towards Lyndhurst. Lunch was taken at MacDonnell Creek and then we continued, making it to Lyndhurst on dusk, ending our cleanup trek. All trailers were full and the camp kitchen truck was nearly full. Thanks to the generosity of the Lyndhurst Hotel we set up for the night in the camp grounds free of charge. Lyndhurst Hotel also donated two brand new trailer tyres to Ron for his trailer after suffering a blowout. After tea, members attended the front bar of the Lyndhurst Hotel for fellowship and to thank them for their generosity. Some of our younger members kept WILLIE up a lot later than he wanted to be!!!!!!!!!
DAY 9:- Saturday 15th July, (Leigh Creek Weather - 6c to 17c Cloudy) The sun rising, saw an early morning for most crews, eager to get to the Leigh Creek Refuse Centre to sort out all the rubbish and recycling into the set-out areas. Once unloaded everyone motored on to Quorn where we totally stripped, cleaned and repacked the camp kitchen.
END OF TREK DINNER and AGM was held at the Austral Hotel, Quorn. Great food and beer....The place was packed with multiple functions on. It was still a great night to mark the completion of Trek 2017.
THE Winner of the BUGGA award went to Ron WHYTE and Heather FORD (the BUGGA BITCH)
THE STATS:-Each vehicle covered an average distance of 2,232 kilometres with a recorded total distance of 26,784 kms covered by all vehicles. A total of 3,387.5 volunteer hours were completed by members on this cleanup. We collected a total of 63.25 tonnes of rubbish, including 582 whole tyres-majority of them being 4x4 and trailer tyres and 7 Bulka bags full of refundable bottles and cans as well as 11 wheat bags full that will be delivered to Quorn Recycling Centre for counting and payment of our refundable income.
Volunteer Hours which is rated by SA GOVERNMENT at $25/hour as an in-kind contribution by our members to the Community with this Trek valued at $84,687.50
We thank all our sponsors, volunteers and supporters and so does the environment of Outback South Australia, as the roads and tracks do look a lot better without the rubbish and junk strewn along them as well as the many bore areas, camping and truck rest areas of The Outback Highway, Marree Track, Birdsville Track, Cordillo Track and Strzelecki Track.
Remember when travelling in the outback, SLOW DOWN when passing volunteers or work crews, this will save lives and leave only your footprint, take all your rubbish with you. Enjoy the outback and travel safe.
SINCE 2007 GREAT TRACKS CLEANUP CREW HAVE COLLECTED MORE THAN 629 Tonnes of RUBBISH from Outback Tracks.