Human Waste Management on Stockton Beach

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 17:46
ThreadID: 53869 Views:5207 Replies:15 FollowUps:20
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Vic Widman from GDT has been notified by NPWS that all human waste has to be removed from Stockton Beach when we take a tour there.

They want to know how we are going to do this by the 2nd Feb.

They have also stated that a screen or toilet tent can not be constructed on the beach.

When asked why NPWS can't build toilets on either end of the beach the reply was "it would be too hard".
With no other infrastructure or roads and tracks to maintain what do they do with the permit fees?

Rangers are patrolling the beach now, even more than before, now that NPWS have taken over. I wounder what the rangers do when they have to "spend a penny"

There are also restrictions on how many vehicles that we can take on a trip. Max 10, but for every 5 customer vehicles there has to be a guide vehicle.
5 customer vehicles 1 tour guide vehicle
6- 8 customer vehicles 2 tour guide vehicles.

We can only run 1trip per day, so if we have 9 vehicles that want to go we can not split the convey and run two trips on the same day.

They have started with tour operators, should the same rules apply to 4WD clubs and the general public??
Is there a difference between the number of vehicles in a 4WD club convey and a tour operators convey.
Isn't human waste the same regardless of the convey that you are in??

All we want is a fair go and not to be singled out just because we have paying customers in the convey

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Reply By: DIO - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 18:23

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 18:23
Could be that they're syaing something like...'user pays and pays and pays and pays.....etc'
AnswerID: 283575

Reply By: Member - Tessa (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 18:28

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 18:28

obviously their's doesn't stink!!!

AnswerID: 283576

Reply By: Smudger - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 18:39

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 18:39
If you go trekking in the Snowies the same rules apply ..carry 'it' out. People take Woolies bags and ..that's the way it happens. Other option is ..'it' everywhere! There are more and more people gong to Stockton every year and the stuff just doesn't disappear.
If you love the wilderness, be prepared to take responsibility for it. Especially if you're making your living out of it!
On our last trip to the red centre we were just disgusted with the amount of toilet paper blowing around in the freebies, and we were more than a little concerned about where to set our tent at some of these sites.
I would expect that professional tour operators would be the first to encourage conservation of the bush.
AnswerID: 283581

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 19:39

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 19:39

We will have to comply with the request of the NPWS, but will ever one else do the same?
Do you believe that a family coming onto the beach for the day will carry everything out, including human waste.

Stockton Beach is not wilderness area.
Vehicle drive on the dunes and the beach every day.
Planes from the near by air force base fly over, rubbish is washed up on the beach from passing tankers and the ocean.
There are camel rides at the northern end of the beach, horse are permitted to traverse the dunes.

The other part of this is that they want us to use some form of toilet but we can not provide and type of privacy for those who what to use the loo.


FollowupID: 548207

Follow Up By: Smudger - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 01:20

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 01:20
So what you're saying is ..everone else will crap in the dunes, so why can't we?
VicW is an icon of the Aussie 4WD indiustry and I'm sure that they will comply, not only because of any threatened fines, but because it is the right thing to do. Stockton might not be a registered wilderness area, but perhaps it should be. As a pro tour operator you know more than anyone else how unique that piece of earth is.
It's a bit like the water restrictions that we've learned to live with over the past 3 years ..not easy to start with, but so sensible now. We all happilly hosed down the driveway after mowing the lawns, coz our Dads taught us that one. Who would do that today?
Education has to start somewhere, and it's the pro's who will spread the word about being responsible.
Reading all the other posts, frankly I reckon most are really off target. Who of those who've been to Stockton are honestly suggesting that somene will actually travel 20 or 40ks down Stockton Beach to find a dunny?
Get real.
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 07:48

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 07:48

What we are saying is that we will use a toilet and every one else will use the dunes.

If the area was so unique and fragile would not you think that restriction would apply to all. May be NPWS should stop the sand mining, and Tin City should have to go. Horse riding and quad bikes they would have to go as well as the camel rides.
The amount of people that use the beach could also be limited but that would reduce the NPWS income. They don't mind telling us how many vehicle that we can bring onto the beach and we provide a toilet for but they will allow as many as they like and not provide a thing in return.
Asking 15/20 people to use a toilet one day every 6 weeks is not going to change a thing.

Last week there was a convey of 50 vehicles out for the day, and this was lead by ARB and Out of Town 4WD. They are locals so they don't have to comply with the restrictions.

"Who of those who've been to Stockton are honestly suggesting that someone will actually travel 20 or 40ks down Stockton Beach to find a dunny?" Good point, so what are the park rangers going to do? We will follow there example and copy how they get around the problem.


FollowupID: 548277

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 19:11

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 19:11
Gday Wayne,

I agree with what you say.
If they are taking money, and the area is suffering from people pressure, its their responsibility to construct some self-composting toilets.

I'm sympathetic to tagalongs - seems to me to be a hard way to make a $. Margins are not good for the hours you guys put in. Rules should be the same for any vehicle.

AnswerID: 283585

Reply By: Willem - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:02

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:02

Maybe you will have to tow an ATCO Portable Toilet behind the lead vehicle. Remember to lower the tyre pressures though :-)

AnswerID: 283611

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:11

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:11

We have thought of that but what happens if there is a roll over or when we move on from after smoko someone is still using the loo on wheels. Not a good ride.

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Reply By: Peter 2 - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:05

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:05
Might be an opening for a local business to put a portaloo or two on the back of a truck!!
AnswerID: 283612

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:16

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:16

NPWS charge bus tour operators $3.50 per person to travel on a tour bus.

I would not like to think of what they might charge per person to use a loo that some one else has brought in.

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Follow Up By: Member - Mark E (VIC) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:40

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 21:40
Kenny.........where are you when we need you..!!!!!!!


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Reply By: Member - greg S (QLD) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 22:07

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 22:07

"When asked why NPWS can't build toilets on either end of the beach the reply was "it would be too hard".
With no other infrastructure or roads and tracks to maintain what do they do with the permit fees?"

You're not suggesting that the gummint is taking that money and putting it into their coffers. They wouldn't do that, just look at the speed camera's, they are there to save lives??? hahahahahaha

Mate, I'm with you on this, if one has to do it, then all should have to do it.

But now might be a good time to buy some shares in the porta potti makers.

Cheers Greg
AnswerID: 283631

Reply By: Crackles - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:24

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:24
I would have thought most accredited tour opperators would have already been carting all human waste out of popular areas that didn't have permenant toilets by now anyway. It doesn't really matter what mess others are making, leading companys or clubs for that matter should be showing by example. It's not that difficult to strap a porta loo on the roof rack & carry a pop tent which can be errected in a few minutes at key stops. If rafters on 2 week tours of the Franklin river can cart out all human waste why can't 4 wheel drivers on a day or weekend trip?
"should the same rules apply to 4WD clubs and the general public??" Initially clubs & individuals should be encouraged to carry out what they carry in & if the mess doesn't improve, Yes everyone should carry a portaloo.
As the vast majority of your Parks fees is swallowed up in red tape to administer tour opperator permits it comes as no surprise that they have nothing to spend when it comes time for facilities. NSW have always been backwards in the the user pays system for Parks. If everyone gets charged to use the place the least they should supply is a few toilets in the busy areas, but still no reason not to look after the place until they're built.
Cheers Craig..............
AnswerID: 283644

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 06:54

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 06:54

We would be happy to use a pop up tent but we are not allowed to set up any type of structure.

At the moment only tour operators have to make sure that they leave nothing. The way that they also regulate the number of vehicle that we can take onto the beach this is only a drop in the bucket or should I say loo.

As for park fees, tour operators have to pay a annual fee to use any park of state forest. Even the Vic High Country that is free to the public to use we still have to pay a fee.

Stockton Beach we pay a fee plus the permit for each vehicle.
At the moment every vehicle that goes onto Stockton Beach, I think it is $10 per vehicle for 3 days.

We went there a couple of months back to do a segment for Sydney Weekender and it cost us $2000 in park fees to do that day and that's because we wanted to film on the beach. User Pays.

FollowupID: 548273

Reply By: redfive - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:27

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:27

Im so sick of hearing of people like the NPWS cant do this and cant do that
why dont they build a bloody toilet it not that hard
i have never heard so much bulls**t in my life and tell me this isnt s**t biogradeable so take some matches and burn the paper bingo no problem
but better yet take some plastic lined post packs with you do it in them and then post them to the NPWS now thats a idea
that would give some pen pusher a job for life
it would be better that sitting around making up rules that dont make sence

AnswerID: 283646

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:47

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:47
"take some plastic lined post packs with you do it in them and then post them to the NPWS"


Love it

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Reply By: Footloose - Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:34

Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 at 23:34
You do have a raw deal on this one, don't you? Why do your trips command such a deadhead deal from the NPWS I wonder ?
Did Vic get up someone's nose over there?
If you can't set up an enclosure, and you have to remove the waste, how are you supposed to do it?
"Dunnies on the dunes" doesn't exactly inspire one, does it ?
I know what I'd do. I'd contact them and ask them how they suggest that you do it.
Perhaps they're just using your mob as a test case for all who follow?
AnswerID: 283648

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 07:20

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 07:20

NPWS have only just taken over the management of Stockton Beach and I think the the new bloke in charge is flexing a bit of mussel.

Each park in NSW is run by a manager and he has the final say on what happens in his park.
That may sound good but it means that instead of applying for a permit though one central body, as we do in every other state, we have to apply to each park separately. Each park also have there own set of rules, Stockton Beach 1 tour vehicle 5 customers vehicles, in other parks the ratio is 1 tour vehicle to 8 customer's vehicles and they all have a restriction of 10 vehicle max including guides vehicles.
I would like to see some government body say to David that he must restrict the number of members on this site to a max of 500.

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Follow Up By: Waynepd (NSW) - Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 at 10:23

Sunday, Jan 27, 2008 at 10:23
Hang on....doesn't Vic work for the govvymentals? He did back in 2001 when i did a 4wd course with him.

It comes as no surprise to me that restrictions, rules and the removal of freedom to enjoy our country has resulted, yet again, from the handover of a popular area to NPWS.

I was there in between the changeover from the council?? and the fees were waived for that weekend. A local bloke came around to our campsite in the morning and told us about it. "You won't notice much change." he said "They said they would run it much as it is run now, except for maybe dogs on leads only"

I remember thinking, that won't last, first they'll get rid of the dogs, then the people.....

it has started
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 08:14

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 08:14
I don't have a problem and I don't think anyone else would have a problem with commercial operators being charged to use public land for any use whether it be to take paying passengers on a day trip or film a segment for publicity.
They are using public facilities for commercial gain. Whether they make a lot or just cover costs is their problem.
AnswerID: 283664

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 08:37

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 08:37
The extra fees that we have to pay we can live with, but to singled out tour operators because they are a company trying to make a dollar is getting beyond a joke. If there were public facilities on Stockton Beach you would have a good point.

Restricting the amount of income we can make if we use the beach and then saying we must comply with this idea but the public and 4wd clubs are exempt, that is where I have a problem.

FollowupID: 548282

Follow Up By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 09:13

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 09:13
The general public and 4wd clubs are not making a buck using public land, that's the difference.
You and anyone else as an individual are free to access the beach at any time, if you want to take your vehicle then there is and has been for many years a permit required per vehicle.
If you wish to use public land to generate and income then yes you should pay as much as the authorities require and also meet any requirements they may have regarding the removal of waste as should everyone else. If you have to raise the amount you are charging the customers so be it.
They are insisting on the tour operators complying first because they can as you have full control over your customers (or should do).
Eventually everyone will be required to do the same, they have to start somewhere.
Having toured all over Oz for over 30 years I have become sick of cleaning up after tour groups whose customers don't give a stuff about where they are, refuse to burn and bury the human waste and generally don't give a stuff about the family groups that they have to share the campsite with.
Unfortunately while this applies mainly to passengers in buses etc it has also occurred with 4wd tagalong groups as well.
I also know that I'm not alone in my experiences.
So if the authorities are starting to limit group numbers and to insist on tour groups carrying toilet facilities I think it is great.
Unfortunately you will always get the Richard Craniums who will refuse to use the provided facilities and still abuse the environment.
FollowupID: 548291

Follow Up By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 09:20

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 09:20
I think you missed the part where Wayne said he is happy to do all this, but he isn't allowed to erect any sort of privacy for his customers while using a toilet. NPWS wont put toilets in but you are not allowed to put up a privacy tent for a toilet so that you can take the waste away.

FollowupID: 548293

Follow Up By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 10:04

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 10:04
No I saw that bit, Wayne might have to install a toilet in the back of the troopy for the customers.
Don't laugh in a some places in the US tour groups have to provide such facilities for anyone they take into some areas, as we follow mindlessly it will probably happen here.
I can also see the day where we will be required to carry a porta potti or some other form of loo in 'fragile' or overused areas where waste is a problem.
You think though if you have a group of 6 vehicles that can be on a day trip anywhere from 6 people through to 40 + people depending on vehicle types and passenger capabilities. If everyone does one number two that is lots of little piles left behind, if only 10% do the wrong thing that is easily half a dozen left in plain view or hidden under a rock or stick.
As i said I've shared camp sites with tour groups with 20 odd people who lots of the time just wander off to do their business without a spade, matches etc and then as we've been staying on for a few days you end up having to dispose of other peoples waste.
We've all arrived at some scenic spot, campsite or the like and had to spend time disposing of others waste too.
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Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 10:24

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 10:24

If we had 6 vehicles we would be lucky to have 18 people with us.

That compared to the 1800 that would use Stockton Beach each day.

We want to comply with the manager's request but they make it hard when we cannot provide privacy for those who want to use the toilet.
The manager has the attitude that we are only there to make a dollar so he will make it very hard if not impossible to comply with what he wants.
He is not prepared to talk about the issue or come up with some type of plan that we can work to.
Two weeks notice to have a working plan that is complicated by his request that no structure can be used on the beach.

It is funny that the general public can camp on the beach with a tent but we can't erect a tent for privacy.

FollowupID: 548306

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 10:43

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 10:43
I dont know the area you are talking about but this is what i see in the Centre.
I think what they are saying is there is too much crap being left behind!
Why? Because a lot more people are probably going there.
Why are more people going there?...probably because it is easier to get there. You now dont have to be a keen 4wd enthusiast or walker, you can just hop on a tour. So who is going to suffer? the person makeing a quid out of the area and taking the extra people in there.
I dont think anyone is saying you dirtier than anyone else or your turds are stinkier, just that your encourging more people who in turd leave a bigger mound.

When the days were old and the nights were bold
And toilets werent invented
You'd drop your load
In the middle of the road and walk off quite contented.
(but not leave 10km of crap wrap trailing behind)

AnswerID: 283695

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:01

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:01

Stockton Beach
(There is not much on the beach, I might have to add a bit more)

Stockton Beach is just north of Newcastle. You can drive straight from the blacktop at Anna Bay and you are on the beach Not hard to get to at all.

With the fees that are paid to use the beach and the amount of people going there, and they all don't come with us, toilets could be installed.

The problem is more with the manager and his attitude with tour groups.

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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:15

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:15
Gday Wayne,
I would take a toilet tent and porta-pottie for your customers.
If the parks mob want to pull it down while someone is in it ..let them...I reckon they would be in more sh$t.
Or cart it back in bags and give it to them.

FollowupID: 548325

Follow Up By: RovingOz (QLD) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 13:22

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 13:22
exactly what I was thinking... when the $hit hits the fan... they'll have to start talking.
FollowupID: 548348

Reply By: Peter 2 - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:13

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:13
Wayne isn't there a 'group' or association for the tour operators that use Stockton, does GDT belong to that group, maybe if it doesn't it should as they will probably have this issue sorted as they have their livelihood and business at stake unlike GDT where it is only one place they go.
AnswerID: 283700

Follow Up By: Wayne (NSW) - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:22

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:22

Yes there is and GDT is a member. They meet every 2 months, but this information is required before the next meeting.

No doubt this will be a subject brought up at the next meeting

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Follow Up By: possum_heidi - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:34

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 11:34
Supply customers with a wag bag at the beginning of the day they are then responsible for using it themselves when required and also for disposing of.

"The WAG BAG Toilet in a Bag waste kit is a biodegradable double bag system made from puncture resistant materials.

Each waste kit includes a zip close disposal/transport bag, a waste collection bag preloaded wiith Pooh Powder waste treatment, toilet paper and a hand sanitizer."

there are suppliers in Australia
FollowupID: 548329

Reply By: NPWS Manager - Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 23:02

Friday, Jan 25, 2008 at 23:02
Dear Wayne,
I suggest that maybe you get your facts straight before spreading in correct information about what the regulations of use are for the Worimi Conservation Lands (Stockton Bight).

I am not sure whether you have been part of any of the discussions that myself and my staff have had with the Stockton Bight Dune Tour Operators Association over the last 5 years as a lead up to the hand back of Stockton Bight to its Worimi Aboriginal Tradtional Owners and Co-management agreement with the NSW NPWS.

We have been talking to tour operators indicating what fees and regulations would apply to commercial tour operators for a long time.

Our philosophy in relation to commercial tour operators is as I am glad to see some other respondents have picked up on, that Commercial tour operators as professionals should be setting the standard and leading by example to the rest of park visitors in relation to managing environmental impacts, such as human waste disposal, sustainable use and a minimum impact philosophy to their business.

If you were at our last meeting with the Stockton Beach Dune Operators Association some 2 weeks ago you would have heard me say that we (NPWS) are working towards the provision of public toilet facilities at key locations on the Worimi Conservation Lands such as the Lavis Lane and Gan Gan Rd entrances but this was not a total solution to the waste issue on a 32km beach and dune system, the aquifer of which is the emergency domestic water supply for Newcastle and the Hunter.

By the way this $250K project of supply public toilets will be funded by revenue generated from both the beach vehicle permit applied to all users and the fees paid by commercial operators as those running a business and generating an income of Aboriginal Owned leased back to the public - public lands.

You would have also heard me say that this requirement to carry a portable self contained toilet system that is being applied to all commercial tour operators running tours of over 2 hours duration will also be applied to the general public as well as my own staff. (We are awaiting the arrival of our PETT Wag bag systems). The information about this system and anumber of other waste systems had been supplied to operators at previous meetings

Our first move in applying this requirement across the board has been informing campers encountered over this summer that the requirement for a self contained portable toilet system will be a requirement via regulation in the future, as well as incorporating this information in the new brochure which was released for the Worimi Conservation Lands just prior to Xmas.

In relation to the issue of shelters or toilet structures you are off the mark here as well. It was advised to all operators that erection of permanent or semi permanent structures on the lands is illegal. An issue that had cropped up in relation to tour operators in the past. We also outlined at the meetings and encapsulated in the license/consent that any excavation to erect a temporary structure by an operator would require site inspection and specific approval from NPWS before it was to occur to avoid impact on significant Aboriginal cultural heritage sites such as burials, middens etc which are scattered throughout the dune system.The issue was that some operators were proposing excavation for temp structures as part of their activities.

In relation to temporary shade structures, pop up toilet shelters etc. it was advised at the meeting that there was not an issue, as long as common sense was applied and they were not erected on midden material, shell accumulations or dune vegetation.

I hope that this sets the record straight for yourself and the readers of this thread.

I believe that these management actions are moves towards turning Stockton Bight from what was essentially a lawless landscape with its cultural and natural and heritage values rapidly in decline due to abuse by ignorant and un caring visitors into a conservation reserve that we and future generations can be proud of,and acknowledging and respecting the areas Aboriginal Traditional Owners rather than just a 'new manager flexing his muscles.'

I would suggest that if you need to clarify issues that you either check out the information on the Worimi Conservation Lands on the NSW NPWS website or contact myself at the Hunter Region Office on 02 49848200.


Rob Gibbs
Area Manager
Hunter Coast Area
AnswerID: 283813

Reply By: Ozboc - Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 at 23:25

Saturday, Jan 26, 2008 at 23:25
Does not help the OP - but you can buy cheap 20 litre toilets on ebay - i got mine on there for about $50 + delivery expect to pay double if not triple that if your looking for a brand name one -- and the brand name ones i have seen are the exact same one but with there own sticker on it ( in shops)

Yes there are LOTS or rangers on Stockton beach now -- in peak days - i have seen 4 rangers ( 2 vehicles) and i even seen a Police car today!! which is good to see :), i see a lot of bitching and moaning about the measly $30 fee , Im happy to pay it if i see the rangers and police more frequently out there making sure its not a free for all...

I am happy that they want people to take there own waste out with them - the rubbish is bad enough , without having to worry about were the kids dig in the sand and what they might find !!!

On the rubbish aspect - place is getting dirtier every time i visit, We had some spare space in our rubbish bag , so i sent the kids out to collect as many bottle as they could find in the near by area - ( within 50 mtrs of camp site ) they came back with almost40 bottles --- to we took them off the beach and back to the bin at anna bay end ......

would be good if all visitors to the beach took a few bags of rubbish away with them every time they visit ..... - but then again .... most visiters drive ultra shiny 4x4 with lower north shore number plate sourounds , why would they want to dirty there precious cars with a little bit of litter .....

AnswerID: 283897

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