Volunteers of individuals, families and friends gathered at Kukujum (Ellie Point) on Saturday morning as part of the Great Northern Clean-up and World Clean-up Day. The 48 volunteers armed with gloves, hats and hessian sacks collected a total of 320kg of rubbish washed up in mangroves and the beach.
Cairns Airport’s partnerships with Parley and the Yirrganydji Land and Sea Rangers now in its fourth year has seen more than 6 tonnes of rubbish collected from community clean-ups at Dungarra (Redden Island) and Kukujum (Ellie Point).
General Manager of Infrastructure and Property at Cairns Airport Alan Dugan said the three-way partnership between Cairns Airport, Yirrganydji Land and Sea Rangers and Parley was an important one not only for the Airport but for the care and conservation of the waterways and the Reef.
“It’s so encouraging to see community volunteers and local organisations such as the Wet Tropics Healthy Waterways Partnership and the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre play a part in these clean-up efforts and it’s a great testament to what can be achieved by working together.”
“Over the past four years Cairns Airport through its partnership with Yirrganydji Sea Rangers and Parley has done 21 clean-ups involving more than 550 volunteers and collected 6 tonnes of waste. That’s a tremendous effort.”
“Cairns Airport sits between two World Heritage regions and it’s important to us that we are a positive force for good in both of these fragile ecosystems. Regular clean-ups are important to ensure we’re doing what we can to protect the marine life of the Great Barrier Reef” Mr Dugan said.
Brian Singleton Yirrganydji Senior Ranger from the Yirrganydji Indigenous Land and Sea Rangers said that Kukujum was a culturally and environmentally significant area, reminding volunteers of the original custodians who gathered on the land for many years.
“We’re really pleased to be working with Cairns Airport and Parley caring for country and we welcome the great support of volunteers to keep this place clean.”
“The site is home to echidnas, nesting shorebirds, migratory waders, goannas, wallabies, bandicoots, and breeding ground for most of the fish found on the Great Barrier Reef” Mr Singleton said.