One of the threats to the aquatic fauna in our creeks is the presence of rubbish, especially plastic items in which vulnerable fauna can become entangled. This is a particular threat to platypus which don’t have hands, feet or teeth capable of removing plastic rings, hair ties, etc., that get stuck around their necks.
Stormwater discharge points in Castlemaine are one of the main sources of this rubbish. We are lobbying Mount Alexander Shire Council to take a more active role in litter trapping stormwater flows. Urban stormwater is also a major contributor of pollution from faeces, vehicle tyre rubber fragments, engine oil, cigarette buts, etc.
Another major source of litter occurs at road bridges over the creeks. Unfortunately, this is where people choose to throw rubbish from cars.
Since 2007 we have run an annual Clean Up Australia Day event. Each year we remove an entire large skip full of rubbish.
During our work we occasionally encounter illegal net traps. These can drown air breathing aquatic fauna like platypus, rakali and turtles. We remove these traps immediately.
In summer treated water flowing from the Wastewater Management Plant is vital for the survival of plants and animals downstream. We are working with Coliban Water aiming to improve the quality of treated sewage effluent.