Ian Hillery spends an hour every day cleaning up the Coolangatta Creek.
Ian Hillery spends an hour every day cleaning up the Coolangatta Creek. Crystal Spencer

Calls for more to be done on creek

IAN Hillery is so passionate about the Coolangatta Creek he quit his job so he could keep it clean.

The Kirra resident, with the help of his wife Lynn and their grandchildren, started collecting rubbish from the waterway every day and caught the attention of other concerned people.

“I am now being rewarded by a company who has enlarged their duty of care,” Mr Hillery said.

“They wanted to do something to give back to the community.”

Mr Hillery spends an hour every day cleaning the Kirra waterway, which runs parallel to Winston Street.

And he hopes other residents will give him a hand.

“All I ask is that other people get involved.”

Oil run-off from roads and rubbish washed down the drain ended up in waterways such as Coolangatta Creek, Mr Hillery said.

“Every now and then council will decide to flush the creek and then it's all washed out to the ocean.”

Mr Hillery said the natural filtration systems, such as the reeds, were working but more could be done.

“There are solutions to this,'' he said.

“My idea is to use a system that is already in place, the drainage systems.

“At the moment they flow straight into the creek but if they set up an aqueduct, open drain, and a pumping station at the head of the creek with a simple filtration, such as a net, the water could be pumped onto the roads.”

Washing the rubbish into drains where it would be caught in the filtration system, Mr Hillery said.

“We can fix it in the end; we don't have to ignore it completely,” he said.

Mr Hillery said he wanted to see the practice of installing rubbish traps in drainage systems brought to an end.

“All they're doing is hiding the problem from us,'' he said.

“They're stopping everything going out until the big rains come and then it flushes into the ocean and nobody sees it.

“I want them gone.”

He would also like to see more investment in infrastructure along the creek bed.

“There's no bins on the entire length of the creek,” Mr Hillery said.

“There should be more foot bridges to connect the community.”



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