ACT Sustainability Awards opening soon

ACT Sustainable Cities logo

Wednesday 29 April 2015



The Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards are soon to open on Monday 4 May 2015. These annual awards recognise the efforts made by residents, community based organisations, businesses and local government agencies in achieving sustainability in the ACT.

The territory finalist, announced in August, will go on to enter the Keep Australia Beautiful, National Sustainable Cities awards in an event to be held in early 2016.

These awards have grown over the years to encompass sustainability activities as diverse as waste reduction and recovery, sustainable buildings, conserving water, and a Young Legends category. Other categories include community action, environmental education, and heritage.

National Chief Executive Officer of Keep Australia Beautiful, Peter McLean has urged all ACT sustainability programs to enter, saying “the awards recognise and celebrate everyday actions taken by Canberra’s communities to improve, maintain and sustain their local environments.”

“Feeding into the National program will allow the winner to learn even more from leading projects in other States,” Mr McLean went on to say.

Previous successful winners include:

  • Canberra Urban Honey received the Young Legends award, in the Australian Sustainable Cities Awards 2014 (and won Overall). It is a successful, youth led initiative to promote urban agriculture and a community driven local response to the emerging global losses of bee pollinators, Canberra Urban Honey started out as a crowd funded urban agriculture project and through its success has transitioned to a growing small business start-up model, enabling the project to continue and to be self-funding and independent of the vagaries of grant or sponsorship funding.
  • Banksia Street Wetlands won Community Action and Partnerships. It is Canberra’s first retrofitted urban wetland to incorporate an ephemeral section which dries out in summer. The wetland was planned by the community based catchment group and has transformed a neglected public park into an urban wetland ecosystem increasing water quality, biodiversity and amenity. Funding support for the project came from the ACT and Australian Governments. Over 100 residents participated in planting days as well as local school children and Indigenous youth at risk.
  • Tropfest Department of Environment, Climate Change, Energy & Water: The ACT Government hosted this event for the first time in 2010 and provided an opportunity to raise awareness of GreenPower and to promote recycling where the public were directed to take their rubbish to a centrally located waste sorting site. They won Resource Recovery and Waste Management.
  • The Merici College (overall winners 2012) uses the Kitchen Garden Program to model and teach about water conservation through the following initiatives:
    • The school is linked into a bore, from which they can extract 4 mega litres per year. This water is used on the ovals, vegetable gardens and flower patches.
    • The school has installed water efficient toilets and taps around the school. A meter mate has been installed to allow staff to show their students how much water they are using.
    • Merici College has partnered with local elders from the area to design and plant an Indigenous Garden. The Garden is full of bush tucker and native plants which are used to help students learn about Indigenous culture and water efficient land management practices.

Andrew Barr MLA, Chief Minister and Patron of the ACT Sustainable Cities Awards said “We’re making significant progress in building a more sustainable future for Canberra.”

“These awards recognise this partnership and provide an excellent opportunity for the efforts of our local community groups, businesses, industry and government to be recognised in their work towards achieving a sustainable future for Canberra.”

The Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards are an initiative of Keep Australia Beautiful National, sponsored by the Australian Packaging Covenant; and the Environment and Planning Directorate of the ACT.

Entries can be made online from 4 May 2015 by visiting


Media Comment: Peter McLean KAB CEO 0416 227 158

Media Contact: Alice Morgan KAB Communications 02 8626 9396


The Categories

Community Action and Wellbeing
Young Legends
Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention, Waste Management & Resource Recovery
Environmental Sustainability (3 Awards): Sustainable Water, Energy Innovation, Nature Conservation
Heritage and Culture
Environmental Education

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, Eco-Schools, Adopt a Patch, and Keep Australia Beautiful Week.

The KAB National website is where all information on the organisation can be accessed including the National Litter Index which is Australia’s only independent nation-wide litter research.

The ACT Sustainable Cities Awards are sponsored by:

The Australian Packaging Covenant (APC) is a sustainable packaging initiative which aims to change the culture of business to design more sustainable packaging, increase recycling rates and reduce packaging litter. It is an agreement between government, industry and community groups to find and fund solutions to address packaging sustainability issues. Currently over 900 organisations are signatories to the APC.

The Environment and Planning Directorate of the ACT plays a critical role in delivering the government’s commitment to a sustainable future. Through this portfolio, the Government will provide the leadership required to address climate change, to stimulate the growth of the green economy, to encourage innovation and investment in renewable energy and to protect and conserve our environment and water resources.

Patron of the ACT Sustainable Cities Awards, Andrew Barr MLA Chief Minister

“It gives me great pleasure to accept the role of Patron of the Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Cities Awards.

We’re making significant progress in building a more sustainable future for Canberra. The ACT Government’s policies and programs will protect our lifestyle as well as the environment we all value so highly.”

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