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walpole wilderness highway cleaner michael filby describes road as open sewer amid increased litter
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Walpole Wilderness highway cleaner Michael Filby describes road as “open sewer” amid increased litter

The West Australian Perth Now Click to open navigation ‌‌ News Chevron Down Icon Breaking News Western Australia National World Technology Opinion Weather Sport Chevron Down Icon AFL Cricket Soccer Basketball Tennis NRL Rugby Motor Racing MMA Golf Netball Cycling Entertainment Chevron Down Icon Confidential Movies Best Short Film Television Music Reviews Books Competitions Business Chevron Down Icon Breaking News Economy Markets Property Commercial Property Workplace Matters Lifestyle Chevron Down Icon Food Personal Finance Health Parenting Fashion Travel Home & Garden Relationships Stars Real Estate HUH? Local News Chevron Down Icon North Central South Mandurah Competitions Find My Paper Digital Editions Shop Now Read your local paperNews to your inbox Breaking News Western Australia National World Technology Opinion Weather Camera IconMichael Filby regulary cleans up toilet tissues along 100km of highway. Credit: Supplied Walpole Wilderness highway cleaner Michael Filby describes road as “open sewer” amid increased litter Anjelica SmilovitisManjimup-Bridgetown Times May 15, 2024 3:15PM Comments TopicsEnvironmentManjimup-Bridgetown TimesRegional WASouth West A South West litter-free advocate has described a 100km stretch of the Walpole Wilderness highway as an “open sewer”. With an ambition to keep the scenic tourist highway clean, Michael Filby said he had maintained a “litter free” status on the highway for 20 years as a volunteer and pensioner. But he said the litter condition would be worse if he was not consistently managing the roads, noticing an increase of rubbish and toilet paper on Highway Number 1 bisecting the Walpole Wilderness during holiday seasons and school holidays. Mr Filby counted more than 1000 discarded used toilet tissues along the road while picking up litter earlier this month. TheNightly Get in front of tomorrow’s news for FREE Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.READ NOW “There are no official toilet facilities made available to the travelling public in the 120km from Manjimup to Walpole,” he said. “The easiest and most effective solution is for Main Roads to employ one specialist staff to be solely responsible for the hygiene and litter prevention on this section of highway, bisecting a biodiversity hotspot and having unlimited tourist potential.” “(The State Government and Main Roads) have no idea of what’s going on or how successful something can be. “Main Roads know how successful I am, but they can’t acknowledge it because if they do, it exposes themselves.” Cleaning up the highway for Mr Filby goes beyond picking up tissues and shattered bottles. He also clears rubber tires and unsecured loads left behind, alongside handing in registration plates to the police found on the side of the highway. Mr Filby said he had shared his concerns with the State Ministers for Transport, Tourism and Environment, and Main Roads over the past two years, with no resolution to employ people to clean the highway consistently. He said they had made it abundantly clear they had no intention of prioritising the hygiene of the major section of the highway. A State Government spokesman said they support litter collection through the Keep Australia Council along the South Coast Highway either side of Walpole with the Adopt-A-Spot program. In addition to roadside signage, they said the WA Naturally Thanks You program directly targeted litter along regional roadsides, including the provision of litter management resources, and community awareness via social media. “The litter prevention in Western Australia is guided by the 2020-2025 Litter Prevention Strategy with the KABC running many programs to tackle litter,” the spokesperson said. The State Government highlighted additional community programs, including the Community Litter Grants, Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities, Outback Packs and WA Marine Debris Projects. “There is also the Litter Report Scheme under which registered reporters can report incidences of littering which are then investigated, and an infringement issued if appropriate,” the spokeperson said. Mr Filby acknowledged the current programs and says he already manages the whole highway through the Adopt-A-Spot program. He said his argument was for the State Government or Main Roads to employ someone with a hands-on approach in maintaining the “litter free” status he worked hard to achieve over two decades. With his 80th birthday coming up next year, Mr Filby said he couldn’t continue forever. “It has been proven it can be done, it has been done, it is possible”, Mr Filby said. “It’s time for Main Roads to step up.” Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Us Copy the Link Register and have your say. 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