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Clean Up Australia Day 2001 in Walhalla

March 4th, 2001 - Volunteers tidy up an eyesore







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Cleaning out the old tip

March 4th, 2001, Walhalla, VIC. - On Clean Up Australia Day, volunteers came together to remove an old eyesore from Walhalla's otherwise picturesque landscape --the community tip, located in a steep valley just outside of town, unused since 1975, and seen by many as a blight on the environment..

Participants needed to be able to say that they had a current tetanus vaccination and paid-up ambulance membership in case snake-bite demanded their urgent evacuation by air.

Volunteers clearing along the track
Volunteers clear rubbish away along the Brunton's Bridge track.

This year, volunteers from Walhalla and several local and state associations met early Sunday morning to clean up the tip, but were met with a larger challenge than they had expected. "The biggest surprise thus far has been the actual amount of rubbish we have encountered," said Walhalla Heritage and Development League (WH&DL) member Harvey Hutchison. "The more rubbish we move, the more we find underneath -- we have about ten layers of rubbish out there."

8am muster

Helpers assemble below the picturesque Walhalla Cemetery at 8 am.

The area of the tip is approximately 100 metres square along a slope that approaches 50 degrees in parts. Volunteers used winches to pull heavier pieces from the slope and formed chain gangs to carry out the smaller and lighter pieces. The rubbish found thus far by the volunteers ranged from corrugated iron and metal fragments to rusted out car bodies. However, the volunteers also found many relics from Walhalla's past that will be studied for historical significance and may potentially find their way into the Walhalla museum.

Brian Brewer welcomes volunteers

Heritage League President Brian Brewer (r) welcomes volunteers.

Walhalla Heritage and Development League president Brian Brewer stressed the cleaning of the tip was necessary given Walhalla's newfound popularity as a tourist destination. "With the rebirth of Walhalla as one of Victoria's premier tourist destinations," said Brian, "and the imminent completion of the Walhalla Goldfields Railway into town, the old tip was a logical site to concentrate on this year."

Human chain begins the clean-up

Volunteers begin the clean-up task.

Inside the historic township, volunteers began the equally challenging task of cleaning up the land surrounding the old Post Office. During the day, the gardens were given a trim and the trees pruned to make the site as attractive as it was in its heyday.

President Brewer was pleased with the effort shown by the volunteers and how well everyone worked together as a team. By the end of the day, a giant 60 cubic metre skip had been completely filled with rubbish to be removed, and the SES actually had to cut up one of the last car bodies to fit it in. Work ceased at about 4 pm when the CFA contingent was called out to a fire between Happy Creek and the Thomson River on the rail line.

Part of the collection

Whole car bodies were among the largest items retrieved.

The Heritage and Development League would like to extend its thanks to the many volunteers who helped clean up Walhalla, and made such a stunning success of the day, including representatives from:

  • Baw Baw Shire
  • Parks Victoria
  • Department of Natural Resources and Environment
  • West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority
  • State Emergency Service
  • Country Fire Authority
  • Erica and District Fire Brigade
  • St. John's Ambulance Brigade
  • Mitsubishi Pajero Club of Victoria
  • Walhalla Board of Management
  • Walhalla Goldfields Railway and
  • Walhalla Lodge of the Freemasons.


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