Jolly Rogers set their sights upstream

Jolly Rogers Fishing Club (JRFC) are at it again, 40 volunteers have removed 1.2 tonnes of discarded rubbish from a 600m stretch of Moores Creek behind Stockland Shopping Centre. Pulling out tyres, trolleys and a tonne of plastic waste it was just another Wednesday for the community group.

Since mid-2018, the group has been working hard to reach their goal of removing over 100 tonnes of debris from the largest river system draining into the Great Barrier Reef lagoon. A 2019 Community Grant from Fitzroy Basin Association (FBA) Inc., (through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program) has assisted the group who gathers every Wednesday to remove pollutants from the Toonooba (Fitzroy River).

Born from three friends who loved fishing, the grassroots organisation has exceeded every expectation placed upon them. Their driving mission is ‘to clear plastic and rubbish debris from our Great Barrier Reef, to sustain its pristine and vital ecosystems for future generations’.

The Toonooba holds significant cultural values to JRFC as indigenous community members, and to the traditional custodians of the region. JRFC cultural link to the Toonooba is the driving motivation behind their continued efforts. Wanting to stop trash before it reaches the Toonooba, JRFC looked further upstream, putting their attention on Moores Creek.

Moores Creek filters from Mount Archer, through North Rockhampton into the Toonooba and out into the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. Snaking through the back of Kershaw Gardens and under Stockland the lily covered creek is a pretty sight and home to many special animals. However, hiding under the lilies is an unbelievable amount of illegally dumped waste and litter from careless people passing by.

The 1.2 tonnes of rubbish pulled last week is just a scratch on the surface of rubbish lurking in and around the creek bed. Inspired to do more and maybe catch a glimpse of a thankful platypus, JRFC will be back to remove more of the built-up waste in the coming weeks.

Moores Creek is just one more feather to the community group’s fishing cap; joining other huge achievements – such as recently removing the abandoned vehicle submerged in sand at Sandy Point, Farnborough.

The group’s steadfast passion, enthusiasm and hard work has seen their volunteer numbers swell and greater environmental outcomes achieved. However, the group can always do with another set of hands. Honouring their core values of diversity and inclusivity – anyone is welcome to join in the fun including those of limited mobility.