Call to help clean up our waterways this Sunday

Released 28/02/2017

Canberra residents are encouraged to help improve the health of our waterways as part of the annual Clean Up Australia Day this Sunday 5 March 2017.

“Clean Up Australia Day is a great opportunity for the community to come together and help get rid of rubbish that is accumulating on our streets, in parks and in our waterways,” Dorte Ekelund, Director-General, Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate said today.

“Last year more than 8,000 Clean Up volunteers spent over 16,000 volunteer hours to remove an estimated 237.6 tonnes of rubbish in the ACT. Of this, 44 percent of surveyed rubbish was retrieved from our local waterways.

“This year all 117 registered Clean Up sites will benefit water catchment areas across the region. I encourage people to join a site to help remove rubbish causing harm to our waterways and local wildlife.

“Staff in the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate will be leading by example today by hosting a clean-up site as part of the Business Clean Up Day. From 12 pm to 2 pm we will target the area between Lyneham Wetlands and Dickson Pond, along the Dickson channel of Sullivan’s Creek.”

Ms Ekelund said while Clean Up Australia Day is an important annual reminder to help our environment, keeping rubbish out of our parks, streets and waterways is a job for 365 days of the year.  

“To help improve the health of lakes and rivers throughout Canberra and the surrounding region, we recently launched a new education program which aims to reduce pollutants entering our waterways by engaging with the community and building a culture of mindful behaviours. The key message of the program is ‘only rain down the stormwater drain’,” Ms Ekelund said.

“The H2OK: Keeping our waterways healthy education program highlights key habits that contribute to poor water quality such as littering, raking or blowing leaves into stormwater drains, over-fertilising and washing cars in driveways.

“I urge the community to get involved with Clean Up Australia Day events being held in Canberra and across the region this Sunday as the first step to helping improve the health of our waterways into the future.”

H2OK: Keeping our waterways healthy is part of a joint Federal and ACT Government initiative to improve water quality in the ACT and wider Murray Darling Basin.  To find your local Clean Up Australia Day event site visit For more information on the H2OK: Keeping our waterways healthy education program visit

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Section: ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate | Media Releases

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