In Burnie you can catch a glimpse of platypus and penguins in the wild but it wasn't always so. In the mid 1980s rock anthems heralded Burnie’s environmental shame across Australia. Bass Strait, surrounding Burnie, was red with pigment from the paint factory, acid rain etched cars, sulphur steam spewed from factory chimneys and chemicals infected our waterways.
And, apart from the town’s reputation, Burnie’s burrow makers suffered more than most. Sensitive little penguins and platypus were not built for survival in polluted environments.
By the mid 1990s, after a disastrous mill strike and several factory closures, with population declining and few prospects, the people of Burnie embarked upon a journey to re-invent their future.
One of the things they universally loved about Burnie was its wildlife, especially the little penguins and the platypus. So they started the rehabilitation process.