Garden Island beaches given spring clean

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Gary McHugh (author), LSIS Kylie Jagiello (photographer)

Location(s): Garden Island, WA

Topic(s): HMAS Stirling, Garden Island, WA

Personnel from Fleet Support Unit West, Park Rangers and Base Services gather around their haul after collecting rubbish at Cray Bay, the northern end of Garden Island, Western Australia. (photo: LSIS Kylie Jagiello)
Personnel from Fleet Support Unit West, Park Rangers and Base Services gather around their haul after collecting rubbish at Cray Bay, the northern end of Garden Island, Western Australia.

The beaches of Garden Island, the location of HMAS Stirling and Fleet Base West, are considerably cleaner after a recent major clean-up by Navy, the Department of Defence, the WA State Government, and contractor Broadspectrum.

Organised as part of the Plastic Free July campaign, volunteers took to the beaches on the northern end of the island, which are prone to rubbish being washed up by the prevailing tides.

Regional Environment and Sustainability Officer Ms Georgia Davies said such activities were important in maintaining the pristine nature the island.

“Garden Island is Commonwealth Heritage Listed for its natural values, and is home to a range of important plants and animals,” she said.

“Defence manages the island carefully to protect these values but rubbish in the ocean and on the beaches can cause life-threatening issues for marine wildlife and shore birds.

“The team at Plastic Free July noticed that one of Garden Island’s secluded beaches had accumulated some rubbish during the recent storms, so Defence Service Delivery Division organised a beach clean-up as part of the national Plastic Free July campaign.”

Approximately three cubic metres of fishing waste and general rubbish was removed during the clean-up.

Garden Island is located approximately five kilometres off the Western Australian coast – it is connected to the mainland by a 4.2km causeway.

Road access to Garden Island is restricted to naval and associated personnel, however approximately two-thirds of the island is open to the public to access by private boat during daylight hours.

HMAS Stirling was commissioned in July 1978 with the base recently celebrating its 40th anniversary.