‘Rum Jungle’ gets re-blitzed

Volunteers cleaning up Rum Jungle.

Volunteers cleaning up Rum Jungle.

African boxthorn plants growing in ‘Rum Jungle’ will be re-blitzed during a follow-up collection of any remaining rubbish in the area.

On Sunday 22 September, City staff will be holding a Boxthorn Blitz Workshop on the triangular strip of Crown Land, located on the west side of Chapman Road south of Macedonia Drive.

The workshop will demonstrate best practice methods to get the small plants under control.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said the clean-up offered the perfect opportunity for community members to learn more about this highly invasive plant species and see demonstrations on how to keep it under control.

“African boxthorn is a very resilient plant,” he said.

“It has the ability to reshoot from old wood or seeds spread by birds who eat their fruit and it can germinate almost anywhere and under almost any condition.

“That’s why it is critical that sites where boxthorn has been removed are monitored and follow up control is undertaken to ensure the plants don’t re-establish themselves.”

Project initiator Heather Beswick said the staged clean-up continues to raise awareness around illegal dumping and the impact invasive species are having on the environment.

“Now that the majority of the rubbish has been cleaned up and the boxthorn removed the area is much lighter and easier to see into which will hopefully reduce the problem of illegal dumping,” she said.

“This community led project has really shown the broader community how our bushland is being mistreated but more importantly, how we can take ‘ownership’ of these public spaces and return them to a more natural state that everyone can enjoy.”

The small piece of Crown Land, which has been the focus of the clean-up, lies adjacent to a number of privately owned bushland lots.

“It would be fantastic to see the owners of the rest of the Rum Jungle match the community’s initiative and clean up their land which has been used as a dumping site for many years,” Mayor Van Styn added.

The City will be contacting these landowners regarding the condition of their properties.

The community clean-up of Rum Jungle will take place on Sunday 22 September 2019 from 9am to approximately 11am. Members of the community interested in taking part should wear long sleeves and pants, bring along a hat and water bottle. A barbeque will be held following the clean-up to thank volunteers for their hard work.

The onsite Boxthorn Blitz Workshop will train members of the community on how to use the Boxthorn Blitz Kits which are partially funded by the State NRM program. Anyone who can’t make the workshop but is interested in Boxthorn control can contact City of Greater Geraldton Environmental Planning Officers on 9956 6600.

The Rum Jungle clean-up began in February 2019 with the mechanical removal of highly invasive African boxthorn plants and illegally dumped car bodies and heavy whitegoods. With the assistance of the Waggrakine Volunteer Bushfire Brigade the piles of boxthorn equivalent in size to 16, 8m long shipping containers were burned on site in a controlled burn.