One man cleaning army seeking help for rubbish removal

COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

Victoria Stone-Meadows

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Mystery O'Neal has been working hard cleaning rubbish out of the bush along four Mile Beach for a little over a month but he needs a little help. Image: Victoria Stone-Meadows.
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A local man has taken it upon himself to clean rubbish out of the bushland along Four Mile Beach but needs a little help to keep his work going.

Mystery O’Neal has been working tirelessly over the last month to clear abandoned furniture, general rubbish, and other items that have been left in the bush.

“There is a lot of general litter on the houses side of the bush; people throwing it from their cars into the bush and along the trails,” he said.

“The worst piles, however, are from clubhouses kids make, they go into the bush and hang out to do their thing, and it piles up over the years.

“Then they grow up and move on and it just gets left there and piles up; a lot of furniture and random crap from houses just rotting in there.”

Mr O’Neal has been living in and walking through the bushland for about 10 years and said the rubbish left in the bush has not been cleaned by anyone.

He decided he wanted to improve the environment for everyone to enjoy by clearing away the rubbish and items left in the bush.

“Over the last almost a decade I have been walking through the coastal bushland between the houses and the beach harvesting bush tucker and spending time in the bush,” he said.

“Over the years I have noticed piles and piles of rubbish and it’s not getting cleaned up. There were heaps the first time I went in there and it’s all still there with more piling up.”

He has been in contact with the Douglas Shire Council about cleaning out the refuse and receives some support with the rubbish removal.

“It was a bit of a mission organising anything with Council regarding pick up,” he said.

“I can understand it’s a low traffic area and not a place anyone is really going to complain about so they have to put energy into other stuff and I understand that.

“After a bit of maneuvering they have been able and willing to help take it away and have been providing bags to use to pile the rubbish in then I take it out to the street and they come and pick it up.” 

Mr O’Neal said he is happy to clear the rubbish out of the bush himself but is looking to the community to help him maintain the hours of work it takes.

“Mostly what I need help with is the fact that if I’m doing that for hours on end, I can’t really do other things to make money,” he sad.

“I don’t need much but I do need a bit of help to keep this up.

“After an initial burst of donations, I have reached all those I was able to link with and after about 60 hours of weaving (and sometimes crawling) through the bush I have cleared the rubbish from the mangroves in Craiglie all the way to Bruno Reidwig Park.

“The goal is to make it all the way to the main beach in town. I will still continue to do as much as I can with or without funding, but the more time I have to spend keeping food on the table with other work, is the less time I have to clean up.

“I live a very simple life, so I only need about $3,000 a year to live happily and healthily. I receive no benefits from the government so every little bit helps.”

To find out more about Mr O’Neal’s mission or to support his cause, view his Facebook Post or donate to his cause via PayPal.  


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