The main tyre dump pile on government-owned land near Yabba Creek.
The main tyre dump pile on government-owned land near Yabba Creek. Contributed

MP bags creek tyre dumpers

THOUSANDS of tyres dumped at the head of a gully that feeds into Yabba Creek and the Mary River have cost almost $36,000 to clean up.

Discovered near Imbil more than a year ago by kayak operator Ian Harling, 200 of the car and truck tyres had already been washed into Yabba Creek by run-off and then possibly hundreds more by the flood water.

Gympie MP David Gibson said yesterday the tyres had all now been cleaned up, but at significant cost.

"It's likely that these tyres were not just dumped as a one-off," Mr Gibson said.

"We are not going to try to prosecute this time because it would just be too hard and take too long, but please, I urge anyone who ever sees any trucks or vehicles carrying piles of tyres rolling through the Mary Valley, take down the registration number and let the authorities know," he said.

The massive clean-up was conducted in three stages: the initial stage, which was getting rid of the main tyre pile at the head of the gully, cost $4400; the second stage, carried out by hand down in Yabba Creek was done by Gympie Cleaning and cost $8400; and the third stage, disposing of the tyres through an approved recycling operation cost $23,000.

"That money could have been spent on other things," Mr Gibson said.

The tyres came to light last April when Mr Harling spotted hundreds of them in Yabba Creek, between Imbil and the Kev de Vere Bridge on the Mary Valley Hwy.

Mr Harling was frustrated by the slow response to remove the tyres before the wet season arrived and washed them into the Mary River.

Last December, along with Mary River Catchment Co-ordinating Committee chairman Ian Mackay, he found the source of the tyres - a massive tyre dump at the head of a gully on a property that had been purchased in 2007 by the State Government for the Traveston Crossing dam.

While the State Government's Department of State Development and Infrastructure Planning committed to cleaning up the tyres, the floods that hit over the Australia Day weekend held things up even longer.

Gympie Times


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