French fruit-picker Anthony Etien says backpackers camping along the Goulburn River are doing their part to keep the area clean.RIAHN SMITH February 9, 2013 4:40am
Fruit-picker Anthony Etien has been camping along the Goulburn River for three weeks.
The Frenchman said he spent one night in hotel accommodation before setting up camp with about 15 to 20 other seasonal workers to save money.
He said the location, on what is believed to be Parks Victoria land near the Shepparton end of the Peter Ross-Edwards Causeway, had been suggested by a Parks Victoria ranger.
‘‘I was first in the Vic Hotel for one night but it was too expensive, so I decided to come here because some of my friends were already here,’’ Mr Etien said.
‘‘The ranger told us, I think they don’t want to have people in the city so they put all the people here. It’s a good place.’’
Mr Etien said he was surprised to hear people had been concerned about their presence and said most campers were being respectful of the environment and local businesses.
He said the group used the public wash facilities in Shepparton and were careful not to leave rubbish around the site.
‘‘Every morning we take the rubbish to Mooroopna or Shepparton and we throw all the rubbish away,’’ Mr Etien said.
‘‘We try to keep the place clean because obviously it’s nature and it’s free, so we don’t want to be evicted from here. I think it’s a good thing to do for this place.’’
But Mr Etien acknowledged the campers had received several visits by a Parks Victoria ranger.
‘‘He came two times in fact, he asked us to clean the place because there were some other French people and when they left they left all the rubbish and there were four Australian people here, drinking all day and there were a lot bottles when they left.’’
The Country Fire Authority attended a Goulburn Valley Hwy furniture shop early this morning.
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