Both sides of the border bid for Cleanest Beach

Clean Beaches Program Logo

MEDIA RELEASE
Friday 30 May 2014
Media Contact Alice Morgan
Phone 02 8626 9396
Email alice@kab.org.au

Rainbow Bay Patrol

Rainbow Bay Patrol

M1070091

Fingal Head Public School

Rainbow Bay in Queensland and Fingal Head in New South Wales were recently visited by the national Keep Australia Beautiful, Clean Beaches judge in the hopes of being named Australia’s cleanest beach.

Rainbow Bay was named the Keep Queensland Beautiful cleanest beach, and Fingal Head the Keep New South Wales Beautiful finalist. They will now both vie for the national title against the rest of the country – Raspins Beach in Tasmania, Whyalla in South Australia and Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory.

Keep Australia Beautiful National judge Averil Bones said “Rainbow Bay’s residents and visitors are lucky people. Not only is the beach very beautiful, but there are some great community initiatives underway that are improving the condition of the beach as well as building supportive networks between the people in the area.”

Ms Bones said the restoration work she saw at the Fingal Head visit a day later was world class. “The long term commitment of the area’s indigenous people and volunteers, coupled with the support of council, is delivering environmental benefits such as dune stabilisation and improved biodiversity. The involvement of local school students demonstrates the community’s effectiveness in creating long term stewardship.”

“It’s much more about seeing the community engagement and hearing from the local people how much they love living in the area and being part of the community they’re in.”

Ms Bones will evaluate these initiatives and more, against the national awards criteria which include community action and partnerships, litter prevention, resource recovery and waste management, environmental innovation and protection, water conservation, energy innovation, heritage and culture, and a youth participation and engagement award which are all individually given scores out of 100.

Peter McLean, National Executive Officer for Keep Australia Beautiful said the judging process is a lot more than just a day at the beach.

“It gives Keep Australia Beautiful the opportunity to assess on ground, but equally important it allows our experts to give feedback to participants, and share that best practice information with others.”

Fingal Head marks the last visit for the national Clean Beaches judging. The current Australian Clean Beaches title holder is Currumbin on Queensland’s Gold Coast. This title will be passed onto the new 2014 winner at the Australian Clean Beaches Awards event to be held on 18 July at the Currumbin Surf Club.

The Clean Beaches program award communities who actively work for a cleaner, more sustainable coastal environment. Awards are presented to local councils, volunteers, surf lifesaving clubs, rangers and other community groups who implement initiatives that care for dunes, waterways, protect habitats, educate the community, reduce litter, preserve and value culture and heritage, and support tourism.

Official event sponsor for the Australian Clean Beaches Awards 2014 is Gold Coast City Council, and event supporter Currumbin Surf Life Saving Club. Keep Australia Beautiful is seeking category sponsorship for this worthwhile program.

–ENDS–

For further information please contact:

Judge Contact: Averil Bones Australian Clean Beaches judge 0437 864 153

National Media Comment: Peter McLean, National Executive Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful peter@kab.org.au  Mob: 0416 227 158

National Media Contact: Alice Morgan, Communications Officer, Keep Australia Beautiful alice@kab.org.au  Ph: 02 8626 9396

EDITOR’S NOTES:

About the Australian Clean Beaches Awards:

Clean Beaches is a fun, competitive program to help keep Australian beaches and shorelines litter free and sustainable. Launched in 1998, the competition challenges Australia’s communities to prove they have the nation’s cleanest beach. Hundreds of beaches and shores enter this competition every year.

Clean Beaches takes a whole of community approach and covers many elements of community life. When all the community entities are working well together, to best manage their beach environment, it is often reflected in Clean Beaches success.

About the judge – Averil Bones

Averil Bones has worked as an environmental activist for over ten years, including with WWF-Australia and Humane Society International. She has served on a range of committees and boards including the NSW Government’s Natural Resources Advisory Council and the Prime Minister’s Roundtable on Water Reform. She has participated as a volunteer in a wide range of community projects, for example the Australian Humpback Whale Survey and turtle population surveys on Australia’s east and west coasts.

Averil is an active member of her local community garden, and has recently completed work with the Commonwealth Government developing inter-jurisdictional climate change adaptation policy. She holds a Bachelor degree in Communication and a Masters degree in Political Economy.

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