You can take this? sand and shovel it!
By ANN-MARIE MAY
IF YOU want a job done right (or at all) you have to do it yourself ? even if you are meant to be on holi- days.
That is the attitude holiday makers and residents at Arrawarra Beach Holiday Park took yesterday after deciding that if Coffs Harbour City Council weren't prepared to 'do their job' they would do it for them.
The job at hand: opening up the entrance of Arrawarra Creek which has been closed due to a build-up of sand.
Sitting stagnant for around six weeks, the 'dirty' water is now starting to smell, and the council has erected a sign closing the creek to fishing and swimming and warning of possible pollution. But for those who were looking forward to splashing into the beautiful creek they fondly remember from past holidays, a sign just doesn't cut it.
Heading the newly formed working group, Grafton's Sue Hindmarsh marched to the beach with red and blue plastic bucket and shovel in hand and started to dig a channel from the creek mouth to the ocean, hoping the tide could once again flow in and flush the system out.
It didn't take long for the manpower to increase, with men, women and children ? armed with shovels and an interesting variety of digging apparatus ? joining Mrs Hindmarsh in what they called a 'true sign of communityspirit'.
"We have been coming here on holidays for the past six years and everyone, especially the kids, loved swimming in the creek. It was beautiful. Something needs to be done," Mrs Hindmarsh said.
Arrawarra Beach Holiday Park manager Dennis Brown said he alerted the council to the problem close to two months ago, but had been unable to convince them that the system could be cleared if the creek was manually opened.
Mr Brown said he had no knowledge the group of residents and visitors had taken it upon themselves to fix the problem, with him focusing his attention on getting the powers that be to come to the party.
"I believe if the creek was manually opened it would flush itself naturally with tidal movement which would minimise or rectify the problem. The park is even willing to pay the cost of a dozer to form a channel," he said.
"I understand that at times you should let nature take its course, but if nature is a bit sick, sometimes it is okay to give it a helping hand."
So did the channel, which took almost three hours to dig and stretched 40 metres long, work? We will find out today.
The Advocate was yesterday unable to contact council and Department of Environment and Conservation representatives for comment.