GOOD SAMARITAN: Derek Goodwin of Lismore has been tirelessly cleaning up Hollingsworth Creek in South Lismore.
GOOD SAMARITAN: Derek Goodwin of Lismore has been tirelessly cleaning up Hollingsworth Creek in South Lismore. Patrick Gorbunovs

Good bloke devotes years to fixing sick Hollingsworth Creek

ONE local man has been getting his hands dirty, his brow moist with sweat and his body covered in scratches - all out of the goodness of his heart.

Derek Goodwin, of Lismore, has been clearing and restoring the area of Hollingsworth Creek, South Lismore, for quite some time now.

Some of the residents near the creek have been calling for his recognition, but the modest man has shrugged off their suggestions.

Mr Goodwin said he began tending to the creek initially as he was worried about the children from the Our Lady Help of Christians school nearby and a playgroup that backs onto the river.

The state of the creek … well, it was an absolute dump. You couldn't even see the creek

Because there was so much lantana, weeds, junk and dead wood from around the place, he was concerned about snakes.

That was five years ago, and he's never stopped.

He spends a couple of hours working on the creek almost every day, with some assistance from his helper and sister-in-law, Kay.

He said he simply wanted to see how good the creek would look cleared.

"The state of the creek … well, it was an absolute dump. You couldn't even see the creek," he said.

While clearing, he also found a few blockages, and is glad he did, as he was worried what would happen to those blockages when it floods, particularly to the residential homes on either side of the creek.

Now he's proud of the shape the creek is in.

"I've never seen it as good," he said. 

When beginning a new section, Mr Goodwin and Kay wade up and down the creek. You "wouldn't believe" what they've come across on those expeditions, he said.

He has pulled cement, tyres, bricks, motors, metal drums - you name it - out of the creek.

"Unfortunately it's practically a big dumping ground."

It's a huge job, but his work along the creek, Kay said, is straight-out volunteering, which he funds from his own pocket.

"He's done a hell of a lot of work," she said.

Mr Goodwin, who works contractually and voluntarily with Our Lady Help of Christians School, encouraged them to get involved in Landcare, which he is involved in, and was very pleased when they agreed.

Now some of the work he does with that area is part of his Landcare efforts, he said.

He said in terms of thanks for the hard work he's been doing, one resident did come down to the creek recently and offered him coffee and cake while he was working, and many others have waved and commented on the good job he's done.



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