Barmera named the Tidiest of them all

Keep Australia Beautiful has announced the South Australian finalist Barmera as the Overall Winner of the 2017 Australian Tidy Towns Awards, at an event held in Triabunna, Tasmania on 12 May.

The Australian Tidy Towns program sets out to recognise the hard work undertaken by individuals and groups in rural communities, and share these best practices and ideas to continue to improve our vibrant rural towns. Running since 1990, the national awards are sponsored by the Australian Packaging Covenant and the Department of the Environment.

Barmera also won Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention Waste Management & Resource Recovery; Environmental Sustainability; Young Legends and were joint winners in the Environmental Education category. They were also highly commended in Community Action and Wellbeing.

Australian Tidy Towns judge Jill Grant said, “There is a strong emphasis in Barmera on community engagement of all age groups and keeping morale high through some challenging times when prolonged drought has threatened livelihoods and habitats throughout the region.

“Local job creation that capitalises on local assets and emerging opportunities such as solar farm development and new value added industries based around local produce and tourism events, is yielding success and a variety of opportunities that will help young people stay in the region and also provide resilience in the community.”

Val Southam, Interim Chief Executive, Keep Australia Beautiful said, “The strong investment in public spaces, recreational facilities, environmental education and the focus on youth has created a strong nurturing of future leaders and celebration of their success that provides an inspiration to other young people.

“It’s pleasing to see another year of high calibre National finalists from every corner of our amazing country.”

The two-day event included a tour of Triabunna that showcased some of the town’s excellent projects, which contributed to their win last year; an address by Greg Irons, Wildlife Rescue Campaigner and Former Young Tasmanian of the Year; highlights from Jill Grant’s judging tour; finalist case studies; as well as opportunities, which allowed representatives the chance to share information and network with like-minded professionals from around Australia.

This year the program received more than 195 applications, with over 445 category submissions across councils, shires, community groups, schools and individuals.

The full judge reports and winners book are available at kab.org.au.

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