Wangaratta Tidy Towns finalist going to National Awards

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MEDIA RELEASE
Thursday 13 March 2014
Contact Alice Morgan
Phone 02 8626 9396
Email alice@kab.org.au

What:                          Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Tidy Towns Awards 2014
When:                         Friday 4 April 2014
Media call time:       Awards begin 6.30pm – concluding at 10.30pm
Location:                   McCracken Country Club, Victor Harbor, South Australia

Wangaratta has proven it’s Victoria’s Tidy Towns Winner and now its environmental efforts have put them in the running for this year’s Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Tidy Towns awards.

A troupe of community members including Chair of the Wangaratta Community Pride Committee Margaret Pullen as well as Deputy Chair of Milawa Heritage Group John Brown AO, and Youth Mayor Zoe Stinson of Rural City of Wangaratta will be jet setting to Victor Harbor in South Australia on 4 April 2014 in the hope the town wins the National title. Victor Harbor are hosting the National awards this year, as they currently hold the Australian Tidy Town title.

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.

The national judge Dick Olesinski visited Wangaratta in November last year as part of his judging tour, to compare it against six other finalists across the country.

“The efforts of Wangaratta are outstanding, and our finalists this year provide excellent show cases of how towns around the nation are implementing practical projects that help local communities achieve an efficient and sustainable future,” Dick Olesinski said.

2014 also marks Dick’s 20th year in judging the national Tidy Towns program.

20 years in, Mr Olesinski is very much the expert when it comes to the assessment of sustainable initiatives against the national awards criteria:

  • Community Action & Partnerships
  • ‘Dame Phyllis Frost’ Litter Prevention
  • Resource Recovery & Waste Management
  • Environmental Innovation & Protection
  • Water Conservation
  • Energy Innovation
  • Heritage & Culture
  • Young Legends.

Outstanding initiatives in Wangaratta include:

  • The Eco Living Sustainable Communities project helps the community achieve sustainability by fostering community awareness and behaviour change. Engagement with the community includes information, practical demonstrations and education workshops about household sustainability.
  • These workshops help community members to develop a household sustainability action plan. More than 1 000 people have engaged with sustainability information at 12 events and workshops.

Peter McLean, National Chief Executive Officer of Keep Australia Beautiful said “the Eco Living centre demonstrates a great example of how to educate the community on the benefits of renewable energy. This includes the long term cost savings that can be achieved.”

Marg Pullen said she was  thrilled to be joining other representatives from the community at the Awards in Victor Harbor.

“As the finalist from Victoria, Wangaratta has been recognised for numerous innovate sustainable projects, beautiful parks, a stunning Ovens River Precinct and community action groups with involvement of at least 90 volunteer groups. Hence a vibrant active council, youth and community has resulted in Wangaratta offering the Ultimate in Liveability,” she said.

Nationally, the Tidy Towns program received 360 entrants, and 1300 category submissions across councils, shires, community groups, schools and individuals.

Other state and territory finalists include Nundle in New South Wales, Mundubbera in Queensland, Sheffield in Tasmania, Kingston SE in South Australia, Walpole in Western Australia, and Titjikala in the Northern Territory.

The Australian Tidy Towns Awards are sponsored by the Do the Right Thing Program of the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum. Registrations for attending the awards can be made at kab.org.au/tidy-towns/

ENDS

EDITOR’S NOTES:

Judge Contact: Dick Olesinski. Mob: 0413 750 681 ecomarketing@senet.com.au

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  Tel: 02 8626 9396 

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 April/May.

About Keep Australia Beautiful

Keep Australia Beautiful is the national peak body on litter prevention. With over four decades of experience in engaging Australians to care for their local environments, (not to be confused with the organisation Clean Up Australia Day) KAB Programs include Sustainable Cities, Tidy Towns, Clean Beaches, National Litter Index, The LITTLE Committee, Australia’s Litter Action Plan, Eco-Schools, and Keep Australia Beautiful Week in August.

The KAB National website is 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.

About the judge – Dick Olesinski

Richard, or Dick as his friends and colleagues call him, conducts an environmental management support consultancy in South Australia for business, industry, community groups and government agencies. He also consults to the retail industry to initiate environment improvement policies, as well as to KESAB (Keep South Australia Beautiful) and Natural Resource Management boards in Adelaide.

His projects include implementing environmental initiatives for the construction industry together with coordinating business, industry and community environmental education programs.

The Australian Tidy Towns Awards are sponsored by

The Do the Right Thing Program of the Australian Food and Grocery Council’s Packaging Stewardship Forum. The Packaging Stewardship Forum of the Australian Food and Grocery Council, works with partners across the nation to deliver industry recycling, litter reduction and education programs on behalf of its members, Australia’s major beverage companies and their packaging suppliers. The Forum’s highly successful Do the Right Thing anti-litter campaign is recognised by more than 80% of people.  More than 400 towns and cities around Australia are now taking the Do the Right Thing message to their communities.

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