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Litter Action: clean site for platypus

We collaborated with the Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance to encourage construction sites to prevent their litter entering the Werribee River - a home for platypus.

8 July 2022
Duration
02:17
Audio described version
Transcript

Speakers

Speaker 1 - S1 (Dr Jodie Valpied)


[on-screen text: Litter Action - Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance. Proudly supported by] [Melbourne Water logo] [Victoria State Government logo] [Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning logo]

[on-screen text: Dr Jodie Valpied, Bacchus Marsh Platypus Alliance]

S1: When we audited the water for litter, we found that more than 50 percent of the litter in the river was from construction projects. 

We're experiencing quite a high construction boom around the Bacchus Marsh area, and particularly in areas that are either along the river or where stormwater drains come down then exit into the river, and unfortunately directly into the very areas where the platypus are most commonly sighted.

Our project aims to reduce the litter at the source - so to be able to help construction sites firstly realise where waste ends up, if it blows or gets washed away from site, and also to help find ways to be able to contain that onsite more easily.

The first step in our project was to run a poster competition for kids, where they could design posters about protecting our local platypus.

[A platypus poster leans against a fence post. It says: 'We pledge: contain our litter; dispose of lunch rubbish; secure unused waffle pods; maintain sediment barriers; conduct regular litter clean-ups. Report litter & illegal dumping - Call (03) 5366 7100']

S1: Then we've been in the process of adapting some of those posters so that they can be used in messaging for construction sites.

[A sign with an illustration of a platypus in a construction hard hat and hi-vis vest says: 'We are proud to be a clean site. Rubbish on the ground ends up in the river. Protect our platypus - be a clean site.']

Construction sites will be given two corflute signs that they can display at their sites, stating that they've pledged to be a clean site for platypus, and also with reminders about what they can do to stop litter from blowing or flying off their site.

We're also asking construction workers to actually give us tips given that they're on site, so that they know what works and what doesn't, of how other construction sites could reduce the amount of litter that exits their site.

Some of the results we have started to notice so far is that there has actually been a reduction in litter coming into the river, and the platypus has returned this year directly in the areas where we have conducted litter clean ups as well.

So we're really glad that we did some of the auditing because there are platypus swimming through this area, and they could have been caught in the litter that was here.

[on-screen text: For more information please visit melbournewater.com.au/waterwatch]