Why get your hands dirty in the first place...Pete explains


188789_191501514222849_7142730_n.jpgWhen I was a kid growing up in NSW we used to catch yabbies in the creek that was part of this beautiful bit of bush at the end of our street. When I got to high school the largest shopping centre in the southern hemisphere was built just upstream; the development and pollution of this shopping centre changed the creek I knew and loved. 

The yabbies disappeared as sediment filled the clear waters of the creek, I remember feeling disappointed and helpless that this could happen. So, I took advantage of a school assignment to write an environmental report documenting the changes I’d seen since the development began.

I got 20/20 on this assignment. The assignment had several dated pictures of the pipes diverting unfiltered waste like restaurant grease and silt from the construction site straight into the creek. My report had the honour of being hung in the foyer of the local council.  Little did I know that as a 15 year old student my pictures and that report would wreak serious havoc for the polluters upstream. 

It turns out that the Environmental Officer saw my photos in the foyer and was able to use them to prosecute the companies who were dumping into the creek. It was then that I realised I could make a difference.

My honours year at uni sent me wading in the waters of Duck River where I met and had the opportunity to work with a number of local community care groups. I learned through working with community care groups that a group of motivated people willing to give their time can make a big difference but that they need support to do the best work on the land, rivers and coasts.

As the Membership Support Officer at Landcare Tasmania I have the opportunity to support various kinds of Landcarers with strategies, tactics and funding to carry out the important work of rehabilitating rivers, conserving the coasts and caring for working land and the bush. 

Life can thrive and be restored in the places we call our own patch but to do this we have to hold on to what we’ve got and take care of the best stuff first. We can do this together. If it’s a small patch of unruly gorse we need to stop it from becoming a hillside that is overwhelming to control and we need to come back to that patch each year to follow up. For this, long term ongoing work is needed with many dirty hands to spread the load.  learn more about Landcare membership here