‘The rubbish near the campsite is shocking, but we’ll keep chipping away!’

Published: September 22, 2022

By Ferg le Juge de Segrais


My wife Chris and I love to travel this wonderful country in our LandCruiser 200 GX towing our Explorex Ningaloo caravan and, depending on destination, we’ll either have the tinnie on the roof of the ‘Cruiser or our EMTBs (e-mountain bikes) on the rack attached to the van.

We have a particularly fond attachment to Beacon, a small town in Western Australia’s north eastern wheatbelt.

It is 21 years since my brother Christian (aka Emu) passed away there aged 49 from a massive stroke after ignoring severe headaches for weeks.

 

rubbish on the Big Lap

For the past five or six years, Chris and I (with our ageing Blue Heeler Dusty) have travelled to Beacon at the start of spring to pay our respects to Emu and head out to a campground called Billiburning Rock (about 40 kilometres north) to spend a week or two in the peaceful surroundings of the rock which comes alive in spring with a mass of wildflowers with hues ranging from pinks, whites, yellows, blues and purples.

There is also an astounding array of birds here and, being awoken each morning by their calls, is soul healing.

On one of our morning walks last year, we ventured off the track to look at a particular wildflower and were horrified to discover an area of at least 100 square metres that was literally covered with broken glass, rusty tin cans and sundry other rubbish dumped in the bush … possibly by generations past.

Ferg and Chris love being back on the road.

Having been children in the ’70s, we instantly recognised the familiar round top beer stubbies, king brown beer bottles, and thick-based family-sized Coke bottles.

We quickly decided the rubbish at Billiburning wasn’t going to move itself, and we went to the tourist information centre in town and the A cancer diagnosis hasn’t kept this nomad off the road … or from tidying up staff supplied us with several large cardboard boxes.

That afternoon, we set to work and rapidly filled the boxes. Fortunately, a council truck driver dropped past to chat so we asked him to take the collected glass away for disposal. Over the following week we spent an hour or so each day collecting glass but, as our time here drew to a close, we ended up leaving the rubbish collected vowing to continue the mammoth task the following year.

At various stages of 2022 we wondered whether we could return to finish the job due to my diagnosis of high-risk prostate cancer last December for which I had a radical prostatectomy in February, with repeat admissions to hospital from various complications including a kidney infection. Just three weeks ago, I finished 33 radiation treatments and am still on hormone treatment, but we are now finally at Billiburning Rock … and the rubbish collection continues.

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Thank you and best of luck with your health

I personally would like to thank you for for your selfless act of cleaning up the bush. When go bush we always take a couple of extra rubbish bags for the same purpose.
If everyone did just a little bit, the bush camps would be a cleaner. Keep up the good work.
Hopefully you will get on top of your cancer.

Wow. Good on you. We have been to Billiburning Rock several times and love it. Next time we will definitely look for your rubbish pile and take some of it out with us. Thank you.

Champion efforts there guys…..
Makes me proud to be an Aussie amongst other caring people.

Prayers for you both……Thank you.

Really wonderful to hear about the cleaning up that you’ve done! BUT do we need to know about your various health issues?

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