On 18 February 2015 on the beautiful shores of Sorrento and beyond, the Mornington Peninsula Shire, with support from the Port Phillip Eco Centre, Metropolitan Waste and Resource Recovery Group and Polperro Dolphin Swims was pleased to recognise three new, exciting initiatives to reduce pollution in Port Phillip Bay, in preparation for the 25th Annual Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday 1 March.
The celebratory event featured a welcome by the Founder of Clean Up Australia Day, Ian Kiernan AO, who says that it is really all of the local organisations and participators of Clean Up Australia Day who should be praised for the Day’s success, and he is constantly amazed at the nation’s support of the initiative.
“I am proud of my fellow Australians as they are the ones who ‘clean up’,” Kiernan told Debra Mar, RPP FM presenter of The Breakfast Table. “The beauty of Clean Up (Australia Day) is that it belongs to the community; it is theirs,” he added.
Following Mr Kiernan’s welcome was the acknowledgement of three new community-led ingenuities by the Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Bev Colomb, who announced that:
• The Balcombe Estuary Reserves Group (BERG) of Mount Martha has joined with local Mount Martha Village traders to make a commitment to become free of plastic bags, opting for a ‘bring your own bag’ system
• Traders in Blairgowrie are also joining in similar forces, also moving towards being free of plastic bags, and
• The 3941 Rye Beach Patrol is the first Beach Patrol on the Mornington Peninsula, which is an initiative that supports local groups to take practical action in cleaning their area of the Peninsula’s beaches.
Also acknowledged in Mayor Cr Bev Colomb’s speech were the efforts by local resident Lyn Webb. Ms Webb is the Founder of the ‘Plastic Bag Free Peninsula’ Facebook page which, as the name suggests, is leading the charge in raising awareness for reusable bags all along the Mornington Peninsula.
Guests on the day were also treated to boat trips out in the Bay where they were not only presented to stunning vistas, but also dolphins swimming up to the boat, teasing and playing with the guests and dignitaries.
“It’s the first time I’ve ever experienced something like that,” Gio Fitzpatrick, Youth Ambassador for the Port Phillip Eco Centre told Mitch Gardner, RPP FM work experience reporter. “I wasn’t expecting the dolphins to be so big,” he commented.
Clean Up Australia Day this year is Sunday, 1 March and everyone including community groups are encouraged to get involved. More details can be found at http://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au and http://www.cleanup.org.au
Words Mitch Gardner
Photography Rab Siddhi
Pictured: LEFT INSERT, Mayor Cr Bev Colomb, Ian Kiernan AO and other digitaries aboard to experience the cleanliness of the bay and pods of dolphins. RIGHT INSERT, Mitch Gardner – RPP FM work experience reporter, Ian Kiernan AO – founder of Clean Up Australia, Debra Mar – RPP FM presenter, Mayor Cr Bev Colomb and Neil Blake OAM – Port Phillip Eco Centre