River clean-up awarded

PRISON inmates and community volunteers have helped keep the Georges River beautiful by removing close to 104 tonnes of rubbish.

The Corrective Services inmates and volunteers from the Georges River Combined Councils Committee (GRCCC) removed rubbish from 130 sites and worked to regenerate bush at 10 sites along the river and creeks in the river system.

The two organisations joined to form the Riverkeeper Program, which won Keep Australia Beautiful's 2013 Clean Beaches Award for the Sydney/Illawarra region.

The award recognises outstanding achievement in the protection of flora, fauna and biodiversity in a natural environment.

The offenders carried out most of the work and were supervised by Corrective Services' Fairfield Community Corrections office.

Georges River Combined Councils Committee chairman Naji Peter Najja said that without the hard work of offenders and volunteers the clean-up would have cost close to $1 million.

"Bush regeneration work such as weed removal and native plantings took place over a combined area of almost two hectares," he said.

"This is $1 million worth of work and the benefits achieved by the program can be felt through all Georges River councils and communities.

"We look forward to an ongoing partnership with mutually beneficial outcomes that help to protect the Georges River."

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