Furious Aussies have posted pictures showing how their idyllic beach has become a dumping ground for “lazy grubs”.
They say Nine Mile Beach, south of Newcastle, used to be a chilled out spot to relax, surf or go fishing, but that has all changed in recent years as it has become a tourist magnet.
By far the biggest attraction now is four-wheel driving and, on New Year’s Eve alone, rangers counted well over 550 4WDs pass through its gates and several more which had sneaked through bushland on one day.
However, the visitors didn’t leave without making their mark, as social media pictures and video footage shows.
VIDEO WARNING: Strong language.
Hundreds of furious locals reacted angrily to the images uploaded onto the Pride in Our Backyard — Redhead to Blacksmiths Facebook page, which show truckloads of rubbish being carted off the beach this week.
Among the garbage left on the natural beauty were car parts, camping equipment, shoes, surfboards, mattresses, food containers and broken bottles. There was even an entire gazebo left standing dilapidated over bags full of rubbish.
“Busy day, over the beach today picking up after grubs that abuse this beautiful part of the world. We grabbed two loads. The rangers grabbed a few loads,” the Facebook page’s administrator Franko wrote yesterday.
Fired-up locals say they’ve had enough of ‘lazy grubs’ wrecking the joint. Picture: Facebook/Redhead to BlacksmithsSource:Facebook
“At one point today we found a pile of rubbish covered with a piece of carpet. Seriously, what a lazy grub or grubs they are (to) come to an awesome place like this and treat it with total disrespect.
“It’s still so disappointing to see people just get up and walk away from their rubbish.
“Everyone has had a gutful of grubs … Pick ya s**t up or don’t come here it’s simple. We knew we would have some stuff to pick up over the busy period but to spot it as I drove on was ridiculous. I know it’s a small percentage but it’s still not good enough.”
Hundreds of angry locals piled in on the criticism, saying a small minority of idiots were ruining the beach for everyone.
Rangers and locals carted piles of garbage off the beach this week. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook
New Year’s Eve was a particularly bad day for the beach. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook
There are no plans for increased restrictions despite the backlash. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook
“Wish all the tourists would go away, all of you have stuffed it. Ten years ago we could surf and fish the place alone,” one local commented.
According to the Belmont Wetlands State Park website, 4WD visitors must have a permit pass and several compliance officers regularly patrol the beach.
They have the power to fine people between $75 to $225 for littering, riding motorbikes on the dunes, dangerous driving, not having a permit and driving across vegetation.
The beach is now marketed as a 4WD destination. Picture News Corp AustraliaSource:News Corp Australia
Despite the uproar, the Belmont Wetlands State Park Board secretary Grahame Feletti said there were no plans to ban or restrict 4WD access to the beach.
“Fines are issued for obvious infringements but we prefer to educate people about appropriate behaviour where possible,” he told the Newcastle Herald.
“It’s a shared resource for our region and we have to look after it.”
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