Rural roads win trash title

TIDY TOWN: The Withcott Litter Patrol works hard each week to ensure their town does not get the same dirty title as the rest of the state. Pictured are John Bennett, Cr Janice Holstein, Kate Thornton, Eric Canning, and Neil Simpson of the Withcott Hotel.
TIDY TOWN: The Withcott Litter Patrol works hard each week to ensure their town does not get the same dirty title as the rest of the state. Pictured are John Bennett, Cr Janice Holstein, Kate Thornton, Eric Canning, and Neil Simpson of the Withcott Hotel. Tom Threadingham

QUEENSLAND has been named as the worst state in the country for trashing rural roadsides.

The dirty announcement comes following the release of new research conducted by the Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) last week, which surveyed rural highways.

The survey revealed that Queensland motorists dumped 53.2 items per 1000sq m on rural highways last year, up from 49.6 the previous year.

It's frustrating news for volunteer clean freaks the Withcott Litter Patrol, who hit the Warrego Highway every week cleaning up the mess.

"It doesn't surprise me, especially with what we pick up at this intersection," Withcott Litter Patrol spokesman John Bennett said.

"There's just no respect.

"We've even had two bins knocked off from here - stolen."

Mr Bennett said the group hit the roadside every Tuesday and would collect up to six bags of rubbish during each patrol.

Lockyer Valley councillor and clean-up Australia supervisor for Withcott Janice Holstein said something had to be done to clean up the state's act.

"It's very disappointing," Cr Holstein said.

"Bigger fines and more media exposure.

"And more being taught in schools so the kids know it's wrong.

"But if kids see their parents do it and nobody tells them that they shouldn't be doing it, they think it's acceptable.

"They just grow up thinking that's what you do.

"I think they need to up the fines a lot, but you have to have proof, so you virtually have to have video of someone doing it."

Despite Queensland being labelled as the most littered state for the past three years, the Withcott Litter Patrol's efforts have ensured their town remains clean and tidy.

The group, which was started 14 years ago by Jim Willmington, has taken out many awards.

These include winning the prestigious KAB council litter prevention award in 2000.

Topics:  keep australia beautiful warrego highway

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