Beechworth community spirit shines for National Tidy Towns judge
Wednesday 19 November 2014
The community of Beechworth has proven it’s the Victorian 2014 Tidy Towns winner and now their environmental efforts have put them in the running for this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Tidy Towns award. The national judge Jill Grant visited Beechworth last week as part of her judging tour, to compare them against six other finalists across the country.
Sponsored by the Australian Packaging Covenant and the Department for the Environment, the Australian Tidy Towns Program recognise the hard work undertaken by individuals and groups in rural communities and share these best practices and ideas to continue to improve our important rural towns.
Ms Grant said, “the integration of sustainability related programs across all aspects of community life is very impressive. The dedication and commitment of the volunteers and the high levels of collaboration between various groups mean that a great deal has been and continues to be achieved in environmental and social terms. The high value placed on preserving cultural heritage and educating and encouraging the next generation of community leaders suggest that Beechworth has a strong and sustainable future.”
Beechworth has a strong sense of commitment and pride and are involved in a broad range of initiatives to ensure a sustainable future, such as:
• Renewable energy options.
• Comprehensive guide for local consumers to source fresh food from local growers.
• The highest density of residential solar photovoltaic systems in Victoria.
• Participating in the Cities for Climate Protection Program.
• Owner-builders have embraced the concept of energy-efficient homes; and each year for the past decade the community has conducted sustainable house Open Days.
Jill Grant had a long and busy schedule prepared for her, as she visited a number of key environmental projects and initiatives in Beechworth to evaluate these initiatives against the national awards criteria which encompasses:
- Community Action & Partnerships
- ‘Dame Phyllis Frost’ Litter Prevention
- Resource Recovery & Waste Management
- Environmental Protection & Innovation
- Water Conservation
- Energy Innovation
- Heritage & Culture
- Young Legends
Nationally, the Tidy Towns program received 347 applicants, with 1335 category submissions across councils, shires, community groups, schools and individuals.
The current Tidy Towns title holder is Sheffield in Tasmania, and this esteemed award will be passed onto the new winner in 2015 at an event to be held there on 26 and 27 February.
State and territory finalists announced include: Westbury, Tasmania; Titjikala, Northern Territory; Cooktown, Queensland; Meningie, South Australia; Gloucester, New South Wales; and Western Australia still to be announced.
Judge Contact: Jill Grant email@example.com 0411 652 895
National Media Comment: Peter McLean, National Executive Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful firstname.lastname@example.org Mob: 0416 227 158
National Media Contact: Alice Morgan, Communications Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful email@example.com Tel: 02 9635 9510
About the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards
Keep Australia Beautiful seeks to lead, challenge and inspire all Australians to strive for a sustainable and litter free environment. It does this through research, communications programs and awards programs.
Its national awards are known as the Australian Sustainable Communities Awards which consist of the Tidy Towns, Sustainable Cities, and Clean Beaches Awards. Each awards program commences with state and territory awards and culminates in a national Grand Final event.
About the Australian Tidy Towns Awards
These awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the achievements of rural and regional communities across Australia. Each year state and territory winners are announced between August and November. They then receive a visit from the Australian Tidy Towns Judge and the Australian Tidy Towns Awards are presented in February.
About Keep Australia Beautiful
Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With more than four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, Eco-Schools, Adopt a Patch, and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.
The KAB National website is www.kab.org.au where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index, which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.