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Plea to New Year's revellers: don't wreck St Kilda beach

Port Phillip council is pleading with New Year's Eve revellers not to "destroy" St Kilda beach after nearly six tonnes of rubbish, mainly glass, was strewn across the foreshore and South Beach Reserve during an impromptu rave on Christmas night.

Deputy mayor Serge Thomann​ said the council spent Boxing Day and subsequent days clearing the mess.

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Christmas rave leaves St Kilda beach trashed

St Kilda locals woke on Boxing Day to find their beloved foreshore trashed by backpackers who staged an impromptu Christmas rave party. (Vision courtesy Seven News Melbourne)

"There were 40 additional bins and most of them were half full," he said.

"The main issue is that the bins are not used.

"Despite this, the clean-up operation took most of Boxing Day to complete, with some further clean-up occurring on the following days.

"It is frustrating that the behaviours of mostly visitors undermine the ability of our community to enjoy our beach and foreshore, not to mention the impact on the environment."


Local resident Johan Codinha, 24, arrived at the foreshore at 6.30pm with his girlfriend, and immediately decided to leave. 

"There is plastic everywhere, on the beach, in the water and on the sand. The beach is absolutely disgusting."

Ana Catarina-Santos, 42, from South Australia, was unimpressed. 

"This has never been the cleanest of areas, but when you see a broken bottle in the sand with kids running around, it's just terrible."

St Kilda Life Saving Club president Jeanette Lambert said the club's volunteers spent hours picking up broken glass to make the beach safe.

In mid-December, the council started advertising in backpacker venues and on five electronic billboards that alcohol in public places was banned from 8pm on December 30 to 9am on January 2.

Many residents blamed outsiders for the mess, with one person commenting on Facebook, "It's those freakin backpackers at it again who have destroy St Kilda."

Another person commented it was "worth remembering that backpackers bring a hell of a lot of money into St Kilda".

One person blamed visitors closer to home: "Simple solution: Block all roads to St Kilda from outer western suburbs."

Yet others said visitors shouldn't be demonised because of inadequate council planning.

Albert Park resident and St Kilda beachgoer Lionel Boxer said the council did a lot of work and traders paid a fee to clean things up, but the municipality couldn't cope with state and interstate  tourism.

"I think it's just rough people coming into the neighbourhood, rough people who don't care about the mess they leave behind," he said.

Mayor Bernadene Voss said the council had placed an extra 30,000 litres of bins around the foreshore for New Year's Eve and would have "litter pickers" on duty all night to pick up rubbish. Bins will also be emptied regularly during the night, she said.

"We were so appalled by the 5.7 tonnes of rubbish, which was mostly glass, that was left behind after an impromptu rave on Christmas Day," she said.

"Our beach-cleaning machine actually broke down under the huge weight of it, so we didn't clean it up in our normal timely manner.

"Mostly, we're focussing on New Year's Day at the moment, and with Australia Day also being a key celebration.

"We've usually got heat, we've usually got a public holiday, and those sort of things combined are key ingredients for problems that we might have like excessive alcohol on the beach, broken glass, and our job really is to keep our municipality safe and clean."

The council is concerned about an Australia Day party at St Kilda beach being advertised on Facebook.

Nearly 4000 people have indicated they are going to the party to count down the Triple J Hottest 100, while another 13,000 said they were interested.

The Facebook page states, "bring a buddy, bring your beers ... this is an open event, spread the word and bring the gang!"