The media really is starting to pay attention to the tour. I did two interviews for two different local ABC radio stations before 8 am this morning. We packed up, waved a teary good-bye to our fabulous hosts in Port Fairy: Ian, Max, Jacqui, Jess, Bear and dog Nancy, who shared my bed last night.
Our local hero in Hamilton is Linda Grant, who is part of a very active "War On Waste" community. Linda managed to get her group, the council and an afterschool group involved and had organised local media to cover our visit. Someone at council sorted the permit for us to park right smack in the city, the deputy mayor, Cr Chris Sharples, and the CEO of the council, Michael Tudball, came out and chatted with us about CDS at length. This is how good things can happen in communities: finding a common goal, collaborate with respect and open minds. We were truly overwhelmed by the welcome!
Many people came and claimed their refunds, happy to chat, sign and receive more information. One gentleman even donated some coins to us. And that was lucky, because we were mobbed again, but (no offence to those Warrnambool gents) much cuter: a couple of dozens of kids had been cleaning up the local area and by the time we'd swapped containers for coins, I had to run off to the bank to get more coins.
The price for most effort would surely have to go to Mandy Pederick and her three girls. They spent 1,5 hrs cleaning up the road side between Coleraine and Hamilton. Their massive haul included a computer screen, a lot of single use plastic packaging, much of it torched and way over 80 containers. Mandy was kind enough to give me a short interview. Well done on that clean-up, Mandy, you are a shining example for this lovely community!
Southern Grampians Shire council Mayor Cr Mary-Ann Brown caught us just as we were packing up. She said that the council has traditionally been in favour of a container refund scheme and that the council is about to pass a motion in support and to increase pressure on the Victorian government to implement a scheme. Yay! We left with many well-wishes for safe travels and a successful campaign.
I’m due to do another interview as soon as we get going. This is the longest stretch of driving ahead of us on this tour. I am in awe of Travis's driving skills – the Big Bottle is in very capable hands! PS. See what we found along the road to Mildura on the video below.
Mildura here we come – we'll be at the Langtree shopping centre tomorrow from 10 am to 12 pm and somewhere near the Water Play Park from 2 to 4 pm. We’ll try and get the Big Bottle off the trailer for the Water Play Park – so if you see us wheeling it around, don’t be shy, lend a hand!