Sea for yourself – Tannum Sands named Queensland’s cleanest beach

If Ian Anderson has his way, the poster atop this story will become a billboard on the Bruce Highway promoting a visit to magnificent – and pristine – Tannum Beach recently named the cleanest in Queensland.

“To encourage people to come into the area and see what we’ve got here: spend some time here and spend some money!”

Ian, beach debris coordinator and staunch member of the Boyne Island Lions Club is one of the leaders of a small army of locals who keep our gorgeous coastal strip clean and green.

Their efforts have been rewarded with a win in the ‘cleanest beach’ category of the Queensland’s Tidy Towns competition.

“That award is a reflection of not just me,” he said. “Quite often you’ll see people walking up the beach with a bag, picking up rubbish as they go.” Our region boasts the third-largest number of entries in the Marine Debris database Australia-wide, hard on the heels of Kiama and the Sunshine Coast.

With the recent accident aboard the YM Efficiency which saw 83 sea containers filled with everything from nappies to furniture littered along the NSW coastline fresh in our minds, Ian says most debris on Tannum Beach comes from the land, not from shipping.

“Predominantly around here, the biggest one is stubbies or cans, but it depends on where you go – we were outside the surf club yesterday, and there it’s cigarette butts.”

He said the least people can do, is take their own litter with them: “If you’ve got room to take it in with you, take it out again as you go. It’s not just plastic bags and straws, it’s everything.”

Ian Anderson (centre, with bag) with Lions Club members, marine debris artist Christine Holden, Conservation Volunteers’ Linda Fahle and Councillor PJ Sobhanian celebrate Tannum’s win