Belmont Wetlands State Park trashed by illegal dumping

AS Clean Up Australia Day approaches, Lake Macquarie's largest wetland continues to face environmental danger due to illegal dumping.

The Belmont Wetlands State Park covers 514 hectares and encompasses Nine Mile Beach, a popular camping area that stretches between Blacksmiths and Redhead beaches.

The park and beach share a one-way four-wheel-drive access entrance off Kalaroo Road, Jewells.

The entire area is used for recreational activities.

Belmont Wetlands State Park Trust chairman Greg Wright said it should look picturesque but was far from it.

In what he described as a "chronic, ongoing" problem, Mr Wright said rubbish was often strewn throughout the park and on the beach, deliberately dumped there by some users.

Rubbish left behind by day-trippers and campers typically included bottles, cans and plastic, but inside the park was more harmful waste.

Mr Wright said last year the trust spent $100,000 removing dangerous materials such as asbestos.

"People are coming out of their way to bring their rubbish here and treat the place like a tip," Mr Wright said.

In the past week alone, Mr Wright said three cars had been torched and abandoned in the park.

The trust is working towards implementing a surveillance system in an attempt to crack down on the dumping.

One group of users - four-wheel drivers - also want to help clean up and stop the dumping.

Raymond Terrace 4WD Club vice-president Ben MacLean believes a more commonsense approach to the problem could work.

"If everyone takes out what they take in and a little more, there'd be nothing there," he said.

Mr MacLean said he and his children used the track at least once a month and always stopped to pick up rubbish.

This Sunday, March 2, the MacLean family and other members from the Raymond Terrace 4WD Club will join the Belmont Wetlands State Park Trust at the site for Clean Up Australia Day.

It will be open to the public from 9am until noon.

Go to to register online for the event.

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