Clean Up Australia Day will not be a community-wide initiative this year because of lack of numbers.
Gunnedah Urban Landcare Group (GULG) and Gunnedah Rotary Club will not facilitate the annual event on March 4 because of a lack of availability of its members.
GULG and Rotary member Rod Browne said Clean Up Australia Day started in Gunnedah in the early 1990s, with a dedicated group of volunteers including Annette Percy running it for a number of years.
“They were struggling in the early 2000s and approached Rotary and Urban Landcare and asked if we could take it on and keep it going, so it’s been a partnership between Rotary and GULG.”
Mr Browne said the number of community volunteers had dwindled over the years and those who had been involved for a long time are getting older, while younger people are not putting up their hands to help as individuals.
“It’s people on the ground we’re lacking,” he said.
“There’s nothing to stop groups around town signing up and doing something on the day.”
Mr Browne said sponsors hadn’t stepped forward to support the environmental venture, which made it difficult to keep running.
“We might take it on again next year depending,” he said.
Gunnedah schools will continue to run their own Clean Up days, including Gunnedah High School, which will do its bit on Friday.
Year 8, 9 and 11 will clean up around the show ground, skate park, highway, Lions Park and Gunnedah Band Hall. Years 7 and 10 will clean up around the school.
Girls Academy will also take part, calling it “take pride in your country” to tie in with the event.
The first Clean Up Australia Day was held in 1990, after the success of Clean Up Sydney Harbour in 1989. Almost 300,000 volunteers turned out on the first Clean Up Australia Day.
To sign-up for Clean Up Australia Day or find out more, visit https://www.cleanupaustraliaday.org.au/