Environmental News

The Curry charm wins Friendliest Town award

David Curtin - Friday, December 07, 2018

The outback Queensland town of Cloncurry has been named Queensland's Friendliest Town by environmental movement Keep Queensland Beautiful, in the Tidy Towns 2018 competition.

'The Curry' as it is affectionately known by locals, out-performed 39 other communities in Queensland to claim the coveted title, having only just put away the trophy from their 2013 win.

Few places can claim to be as influential in shaping Australia, as Cloncurry - birthplace of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and destination of the first Qantas flight, it is a community that celebrates outback life, the true Australian way.

You only need to spend a short amount of time in the Curry to realise that it really is 'The Friendly Heart of Outback Queensland' - from the knowledgeable staff (and volunteers) at the Cloncurry Unearthed Information Centre and Museum, to the passing wave or a warm welcome from a local - Cloncurry is rich with authentic heritage and modern day experiences.

Being awarded the 'friendly town' requires more than just being amiable to visitors though. A friendly town is the holistic experience - lifestyle and amenities, treasures and opportunities, history and recreation.

Celebrating 50 years, Keep Queensland Beautiful's flagship program; Tidy Towns continues to reward the sustainable actions taken every day by Queenslanders. The accreditation and awards program recognises the hard work that often gets taken for granted in towns across Queensland.

"Cloncurry offers the traveller vast experiences to enjoy; camping under the stars at Clem Walton Park and Corella Dam, fossicking for amethysts, bushwalking and other recreational fun at Chinaman Creek Dam, or picturesque sunsets and scenic views from the lookout" said Keep Queensland Beautiful chief executive David Curtin.

"Spend an afternoon strolling around town on the heritage walk, and imagine how life was at the turn of the century or picnic at one of the many parks in and around town, relax and drift away in the serenity of the region."


Since 1999, the Queensland Tidy Town's competition has included the "Friendliest Town" award as a way of recognising communities that go above and beyond to make visitors feel welcome.

"Cloncurry won the friendliest town in 2013 and it is a great honour to be recognised as Queensland's Tidiest Town again in 2018" said Cloncurry Shire Council Mayor Greg Campbell.

"Cloncurry is very proud of this award and it truly reinforces that we are not only the Friendly Heart of the North West, but also the friendliest town in the State.

"I would like to thank the Keep Queensland Beautiful - Tidy Towns team for the great program and it goes without saying how friendly and welcoming Cloncurry is."

Tidy Towns is more than just a 'beauty' contest says Keep Queensland Beautiful chief executive David Curtin.

From its humble beginnings, Tidy Towns has morphed into a much more complex competition - a tidy town is a community that works together to achieve outcomes that enhance and protect the natural environment, build community spirit and that implements sustainable practices and programs across ten key focus areas.

  • Environmental Protection
  • Innovation
  • Heritage and Culture
  • Litter Action
  • Waste Management
  • Resource Recovery
  • Community Spirit
  • Water Conservation
  • Energy Innovation
  • Destination

Our judges take into account every community's geographic, environmental and economic circumstances, and assess how efficiently and effectively the community uses the resources available to it against a range of criteria.

Other award winners:

  • Queensland's Tidiest Town: Wondai (South Burnett Regional Council)
  • Environmental Protection Award: Julia Creek (McKinlay Shire Council)
  • Heritage and Culture Award: Mitchell (Maranoa Regional Council)
  • Litter Legend Award: Cr Rick Baberowski
  • Waste Warriors Award: Edison's Burger Bar (Emerald)
  • Community Spirit Award: Landsborough (Sunshine Coast)
  • Community Champion Award: Frank Deshon (Dirranbandi / Balonne Shire)
  • Energy Innovation Award: Emerald (Central Highlands Regional Council)
  • Destination Award: Springsure (Central Highlands Regional Council)
  • Cleaner Greener School Award: Wondai P-9 State School (South Burnett)

For more information on the Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation and awards program, visit www.tidytowns.com.au


Wondai P-9 State School awarded cleanest in State

David Curtin - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Wondai State School has today been announced as Queensland’s Cleaner Greener Schools winner for 2018, as judged by environmental movement Keep Queensland Beautiful.

Earlier this year, school Principal Peter Sansby provided a guided tour of the school to Keep Queensland Beautiful judges during their Tidy Towns assessment. 

David Curtin, CEO of Keep Queensland Beautiful was immediately impressed with the cleanliness of the school grounds.

“Wondai State School are a fine example of what a school community can achieve within the sustainability framework.

“It really doesn’t take much to become sustainable.

“From the typical water tanks and kitchen gardens, which are now standard in schools, Wondai has gone beyond that, with recycled pallet gardens, solar and synthetic grass.

“The award winning Technology and Resource Centre has considered the wellbeing of students during our hot Queensland summers, with raised roofing and electronic louvers.

“Gardens throughout the school are immaculate, and mulched. A testament to the hardworking grounds keeper.

At many schools - a common eyesore - is usually the bike and school bag racks, overflowing with scooters and bike helmets. Not at Wondai State School.

“A dedicated ‘scooter parking zone’ encourages students to use an active method of transport to/from school.

Situated high on Kent Street, bordering thick bushland, where the natural flow of water would be downhill, Wondai State P-9 School has implemented a range of water conservation projects to ensure they can capture and reuse rain water.

  • Capture from building roofs,
  • Water tanks, including underground tanks,
  • Viv Goodhew Oval irrigation,
  • Mulched gardens,
  • Synthetic turf use,
  • Drain covers to capture debris,
  • Tanked toilet water.

Wondai State School is now a leader in sustainability.


Celebrating 50 years, Keep Queensland Beautiful’s flagship program; Tidy Towns continues to reward the sustainable actions taken every day by Queenslanders. The accreditation and awards program recognises the hard work that often gets taken for granted in towns across Queensland.

Tidy Towns is more than just a ‘beauty’ contest said David Curtin, CEO of Keep Queensland Beautiful.

“From its humble beginnings, Tidy Towns has morphed into a much more complex competition – a tidy town is a community that works together to achieve outcomes that enhance and protect the natural environment, build community spirit and that implements sustainable practices and programs across nine key focus areas.”

Keep Queensland Beautiful judges take into account every community's geographic, environmental and economic circumstances, and assess how efficiently and effectively the community uses the resources available to it against a range of criteria.

Further awards will be announced throughout November.

  • Environmental Protection Award
  • Heritage and Culture Award
  • Litter Legend Award
  • Waste Warriors Award
  • Community Spirit Award
  • Water Conservation Award
  • Energy Innovation Award
  • Destination Award
  • Friendliest Town Award

For more information on the Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation and awards program, visit www.tidytowns.com.au

Wondai claims victory in Queensland Tidy Towns 2018

David Curtin - Saturday, November 03, 2018


Wondai has today been announced as Queensland’s Tidiest Town for 2018, taking out the overall title in this year’s prestigious Queensland Tidy Towns competition.

The quiet South Burnett community out-performed 39 other entrants to claim the coveted title.

Celebrating 50 years, Keep Queensland Beautiful’s flagship program; Tidy Towns continues to reward the sustainable actions taken every day by Queenslanders. The accreditation and awards program recognises the hard work that often gets taken for granted in towns across Queensland.

Tidy Towns is more than just a ‘beauty’ contest said David Curtin, CEO of Keep Queensland Beautiful.

“From its humble beginnings, Tidy Towns has morphed into a much more complex competition – a tidy town is a community that works together to achieve outcomes that enhance and protect the natural environment, build community spirit and that implements sustainable practices and programs across nine key focus areas.”

“Wondai has a deep sense of community” David said to a small group of members at their AGM.

“Integral to success is community spirit, not just in the awards program, but for survival in these tough economic times” claimed David.

“For a quaint town, Wondai is rich with an art culture like no other. The Art Gallery and adjoining Coronation Park, without a doubt, bind this quaint little community. “

The Tidy Towns judges were impressed when they visited Wondai back in September, where they toured the town with Councillor Ros Heit and met with locals.

“Wondai has so many wonderful attributes and a friendly and welcoming community.   Being awarded this is a great honour for Wondai and recognition of what a great place Wondai is.” Cr Ros Heit said after hearing of Wondai’s win.

Excited to share the news, the South Burnett Mayor, Keith Campbell said “This is a terrific achievement for the town of Wondai.”

“There is a high level of civic pride in Wondai and attention in the way which the town is presented and displayed is in the hearts, minds and souls in so many of the residents in Wondai.   I am proud of the quality of work that our Council staff contributed to make Wondai an attractive place.” Said the Mayor.

Keep Queensland Beautiful judges take into account every community's geographic, environmental and economic circumstances, and assess how efficiently and effectively the community uses the resources available to it against a range of criteria.

Further awards will be announced throughout November.

  • Environmental Protection Award
  • Heritage and Culture Award
  • Litter Legend Award
  • Waste Warriors Award
  • Community Spirit Award
  • Water Conservation Award
  • Energy Innovation Award
  • Destination Award
  • Cleaner Greener School Award
  • Friendliest Town Award

For more information on the Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation and awards program, visit www.tidytowns.com.au

Three stars for Boyne Island Tannum Sands

David Curtin - Monday, February 05, 2018

In 2017, the Boyne Island Lions Club embarked on a Lions Centenary project – entering Boyne Island and Tannum Sands in the Queensland Tidy Towns competition, run by environmental movement; Keep Queensland Beautiful. 

Keep Queensland Beautiful’s programs motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action programs. 

Our flagship program; Tidy Towns, aims to recognise and reward work occurring in towns across Queensland.  

Some members of the Boyne Island Lions Club had been involved in the earlier years with Keep Australia Beautiful (since 1974), the Tidy Towns competition across Australia has progressively changed, from a “tidy” town approach, moving towards sustainability awards, and now an accreditation (5-star rating) environmental focus program. 

The Queensland Tidy Towns Accreditation program better reflects the comprehensive approach that has been a part of the Tidy Towns ethos for many years. 

“It’s more than just a beauty contest”, says Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, David Curtin. 

Accreditation provides participating towns with a 1 to 5-star rating, based on progress in key focus areas; Environmental Innovation and Protection, Heritage and Culture, Community Spirit, Litter Action, Resource Recovery, Waste Management, Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency. 

The change to accreditation allows every participating town, not just ‘award winning’ towns, to be recognised for their efforts through promotion in marketing campaigns, the Tidy Towns honour roll, Our Queensland travel guide and through the provision of signage and the Tidy Towns directory. 

Boyne Island Tannum Sands was awarded a 3-star rating.

Tidy Towns directory listing: http://www.tidytowns.com.au/boyne-island

“The Boyne Island and Tannum Sands community should be proud, to achieve a 3-star rating in their first year is a great achievement.” expressed Curtin. 

“Initiatives like capturing landfill gas at Benaraby for electricity generation provide a sustainable solution to what is otherwise a challenging task for small towns to address the growing energy needs of their community” 

“The introduction of T Angler bins along the Boyne and Wild Cattle Creek to reduce fishing line litter contributes towards a tidy and enjoyable sea-side community” 

Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council Matt Burnett said the effort by the Boyne Island Lions Club to enter the Queensland Tidy Towns competition reflected the strong sense of community within the neighbouring townships. 

“Council has encouraged sustainable development within the Gladstone Region through a number of initiatives including the Benaraby Landfill Gas-to-Power Project and the TAngler bins, and it is great to see the Lions club and the Boyne/Tannum community share this value,” Councillor Burnett said. 

“Boyne Island and Tannum Sands possess natural coastal beauty and a relaxed seaside atmosphere which can only be enhanced by the civic pride shown by community groups and residents to keep their townships in pristine condition and maintain a healthy local environment.” 

Member for Gladstone, Glenn Butcher congratulated the Boyne Island Lions Club and the entire Boyne Island and Tannum Sands community who got behind this initiative.  

“The Boyne Tannum area is one of the most beautiful parts of the Gladstone electorate and it is great to see the community passionate about being innovative, creative and sustainable,” Mr Butcher said.  

With a combined population just shy of 10,000 residents, Boyne Island / Tannum Sands have been rewarded for striving towards a sustainable community, achieving a 3-star rating in the Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation program. 

Some other projects that contributed towards a successful rating include;

-          Indigenous Garden makeover (facilitated by Creative Recycling Centre and St Francis Catholic Primary School),

-          Free disposal of green-waste at the Banaraby landfill,

-          BITS of Art Group – turning marine debris into creative pieces of art,

-          Establishment of the Gladstone Local Marine Advisory Committee,

-          Development of an educational marine debris video,

-          Marine Debris art installation at Wyndham Park Boyne Island,

-          Asset mapping,

-          Conservation Volunteers – engaging 202 local community members and removing 710kgs of marine debris over 87ha of coastline,

-          Future Leaders Eco Challenge in partnership with Reef Guardian Schools,

-          Port Curtis Harbour Watch,

-          Friends of Bindaree – weekly garage sales to reduce the amount of waste to landfill,

-          Boyne Island Mens Shed – provides a social outlet for more than 60 members,

-          Boyne Island Tannum Sands Hookup Fishing competition,

-          BAM (Beach Art and Music),

-          Lions Christmas Carols,

-          and the new Music Under the Trees community event.

 

The town of Hughenden, in the Flinders Shire, was awarded the prestigious “Queensland’s Tidiest Town” title for 2017. 

The winning town receives a marketing campaign thanks to sponsor iFuture Communications, including a mobile billboard and social media advertising campaign that commenced in October 2017 to coincide with the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference which was held in Gladstone. 

 

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Media Enquiries 

To arrange an interview or for any further information please contact: 

David Curtin – CEO Keep Queensland Beautiful -  0435 062 737

Matt Burnett – Mayor of Gladstone Regional Council – (07) 4977 6803

Ron Doherty – Lions Club of Boyne Island – 0427 738 432

Naturally beautiful Hughenden

David Curtin - Friday, November 10, 2017

The town of Hughenden in Flinders Shire has been named Queensland's Tidiest Town for 2017 by environmental movement, Keep Queensland Beautiful.

Keep Queensland Beautiful's programs motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action.

Our flagship program; Tidy Towns, aims to recognise and reward work occuring in towns across the Sunshine State.

The announcement was made by Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, Mr David Curtin today, where he congratulated Flinders Shire Council Mayor Jane McNamara on the successful win.

"Hughenden's submission was outstanding across all key focus areas. Our tidy towns judges were extremely impressed by the sheer number of projects undertaken in the outback town." Curtin said.

"Projects like the Good Neighbour Program provide an innovative solution to what is otherwise a challenging task. This easy-to-follow program now provides a template for other Councils to replicate in regions that are also finding it difficult to tackle their noxious weed infestations.

"The Hughenden community should be proud that their Council is leading the way."

Mayor Jane McNamara, upon hearing of the prestigious title win was extremely proud of of the efforts of so many people in her community. 

"I would like to firstly thank all of the community members and Council staff who have contributed to the wonderful town of Hughenden and the Flinders Shire.

"It was more than a decade ago that Hughenden won the award for the Friendliest Town and as a community with a "Can Do" attitude, we have kept building on the fabric of our town.

"This now completes the trifecta for The Dinosaur Trail, as the two other centres of Richmond and Winton have been winners of this prestigious award in the past." 

Mayor McNamara said that "Tourism makes all communities take more pride in their environment and community and the attractions that they present.

"We love our Shire and community. We have so much to offer. From the amazing Porcupine Gorge, access to four National Parks and our many community events and sports.

"After having had many years of drought, being awarded Queensland's Tidiest Town is a positive boost for our community. Congratulations to all of those who have contributed to our success in winning this year." said proud Mayor, Cr. Jane McNamara.

With a population of just 1,151 people, Hughenden are rewarded for kicking above their weight, achieving a 4-star rating in the Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation program.

Some projects that contributed towards a successful win include;

  • Good Neighbour Program,
  • Development of Flinders Shire Council Art and Cultural Plan 2017 - 2022,
  • Public Art (Station Signs and Brandings, Wildflower Awning Panels),
  • Porcupine Gorge National Park - EcoTourism feasibility study and business plan,
  • The forthcoming appointment of a Historical Coordinator to digitise, catalogue and preserve local historical collections,
  • Mount Walker interpretation signage and future development works,
  • Shearing the Stragglers live demonstrations and displays,
  • Partnerships with Australia's Dinosaur Trail and Overlander's Way,
  • Hughenden Walking and Cemetery Tours,
  • Flinders Discovery Centre,

The winning town receives a marketing campaign thanks to sponsor iFuture Communications, including a mobile billboard and social media advertising campaign that commenced today.

The Queensland Tidy Towns Accreditation program better reflects the comprehensive approach that has been a part of the Tidy Towns ethos for many years. Accreditation provides participating towns with a 1 to 5 star rating, based on progress in key focus areas; Environmental Innovation and Protection, Heritage and Culture, Community Spirit, Litter Action, Resource Recovery, Waste Management, Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency.

Winton - Queensland's Tidiest for 2016

David Curtin - Thursday, December 22, 2016

The central west Queensland town of Winton has been named Queensland's Tidiest Town for 2016 by environmental organisation, Keep Queensland Beautiful.

Tidy Towns is the flagship program of Keep Queensland Beautiful. This well-known program aims to recognise and reward work occurring in towns across Queensland.

Winton, with a population of less-than 1000 residents, has today been awarded a four-star Tidy Town rating by Keep Queensland Beautiful for their commitment to a cleaner and more sustainable township.

Some projects that enabled Winton to be awarded the prestigious title include;

  • One Million Stars - community engagement
  • Geothermal Energy - a $3.5 million investment
  • Lark Quarry refurbishment
  • Long Waterhole protection (signage)
  • Free public WiFi
  • Integration of QR codes for tourists
  • Outback writers festival
  • Australian Age of Dinosaurs attraction
  • Willie Mar heritage protection
  • Winton War Heroes
  • Litter prevention through unique dinosaur shaped bins
  • Councillors going digital to reduce resource wastage
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling Plan
  • Publicly available water usage information
  • Winton district historical society and museum

Winton's Mayor Cr. Butch Lenton is extremely proud and honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Winton community.

Cr. Lenton stated that "Winton is a unique part of Australia that quietly goes about its business in endeavouring to enhance not only the lifestyle experience of locals but also the many travellers who visit this wonderful little outback town".

Cr. Lenton further confirmed "we are fortunate to have community members, staff and volunteer groups who work for the betterment of the Winton community and broader region".

Keep Queensland Beautiful Chief Executive Officer, David Curtin commended the whole-of-community response to move towards a more sustainable community.

"From waste reduction and litter prevention, solar and geothermal energy, heritage and cultural projects, Winton, without a doubt is making a real effort to protect and conserve their natural environment"

"Tourists fall in love with Winton and I can see why".


Mackay recognised for sustainable initiatives

David Curtin - Tuesday, September 27, 2016

MACKAY has been awarded the Queensland Sustainable City title for 2016 by Keep Queensland Beautiful.

Vying for the prestige title, Mackay Regional Council’s submission for the Queensland Sustainable Cities awards provided great insight into environmental initiatives that are being undertaken in the region.

Mackay has been recognised for a number of key environmental projects; also taking out the Queensland Sustainable Cities awards for Resource Recovery and Waste Management, Water and Heritage and Culture.

Announcing the award winners today, Keep Queensland Beautiful, Chief Executive Officer, David Curtin said “the Mackay community should be proud of progress being made towards a more sustainable and liveable city,

“Council working in partnership with a number of organisations and community groups shows a commitment to a cleaner environment and a sustainable future,

“The high calibre of projects being undertaken across the Mackay region in line with best practice standards is commendable, not only for Council, but the whole community.”

Mayor Greg Williamson said council was honoured to receive the award on behalf of the community.

He said it was deserved recognition of the region and a range of initiatives and projects aimed at improving the liveability of Mackay.

“We all know Mackay is one of the best places to live and this award is confirmation of that.

“Council has driven a range of projects recognised by this award. The win pays tribute to the efforts of council’s directors and staff who have been behind these projects.”


The projects assessed included;

Lagoons Creek rejuvenation project, in partnership with the Department of Transport and Main Roads, Reef Catchments, Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, the Great Barrier Marine Park Authority, Pioneer Landcare and other local sponsors; Haber Excavations, Daily Mercury, Channel 7, various local schools and conservation volunteers Australia.

The $379,000 project, co-funded by Mackay Regional Council, Reef Catchments and the Department of Transport and Main Roads, included re-establishing aquatic and terrestrial connectivity between the Pioneer River and the Lagoons Creek wetland system, leading to improved water quality, increased biodiversity and general aesthetic enhancements, turning a heavily modified and degraded stretch of Lagoons Creek into a large wetland area, with numerous rock ramp fish ways and extensive revegetation.

The implementation of a Voluntary Mechanism for Stormwater Quality Management provides an alternative best practice management approach for managing operational phase stormwater pollutants from new developments.

The mechanism provides developers with options to contribute financially to catchment based stormwater quality improvement projects, to offset part or all of their stormwater quality treatment, above and beyond the State Planning Policy requirements.

Council partnered with Reef Catchments Limited to improve the quality of the water entering the Great Barrier Reef lagoon from coastal urban development centres; the Little McCreadys creek rehabilitation project occupies approximately 4.5 hectares of council land and is a tributary of the main McCreadys Creek system.

The Little McCreadys Creek project is one of Mackay Regional Councils five priority implementation projects forming part of the voluntary mechanism for stormwater quality management, which will have many future benefits including fish passage, biodiversity, water quality, amenity, and aesthetics, cooling and reinstating natural systems.

After 10 years, Councils Materials Recovery Facility had reached the end of its working life. When the operations contract expired, Council looked at innovative ways to achieve greater efficiency in recovering all recyclable material.

Through a Design Build Operate contract with Recycling Design & Technologies, Council achieved a modern, highly efficient plant upgrade which includes an Australian-first optical sorting system, which has increased the region’s overall recycling rate by 38 percent.

In addition to the MRF upgrade, Council also introduced a glass crushing plant, which has diverted 2744 tonnes of glass product from landfill in 2015-16.

The recycled crushed glass is being used for bedding material under concrete, backfilling and subsoil drainage which is a significant cost-saving to ratepayers.

Mackay Regional Council was recognised for the Materials Recovery Facility upgrade project with the Queensland Sustainable Cities Resource Recovery and Waste Management Award.

The Sarina Water Recycling Facility is a $25 million state-of-the-art facility constructed to meet stringent conditions, given the plants proximity to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The new facility replaced an existing 40 year old sewerage treatment plant, which operated using outdated technology and had no capacity to meet future demand.

The sophisticated system has reduced effluent disposal, which aids in the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and contributes recycled water for irrigation purposes to the local golf course.

Mackay Regional Council was recognised for the Sarina Water Recycling Facility upgrade project with the Queensland Sustainable Cities Water Award.

In May 2014, Council commenced refurbishments to the former Pioneer Shire Council building and adjacent parkland, as part of the Mackay City Centre Revitalisation Project.

Works on the iconic building included both external and internal enhancements to restore its original heritage character and the beautification of the adjacent parkland to create a valuable open green space in the City centre.

Mackay Regional Council was recognised for the Pioneer Shire Council building refurbishment project with the Queensland Sustainable Cities Heritage and Culture Award.


ABOUT KEEP QUEENSLAND BEAUTIFUL

Keep Queensland Beautiful's programs motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action.

The environmental outcomes of our programs include; increased environmental awareness and action, reduced litter, improved resource management and a cleaner, greener Queensland.

Outcomes for our communities include; good citizenship, pride and empowerment.

Through interaction with local governments, businesses, schools, community groups and committed individuals, Keep Queensland Beautiful encourages a statewide network of grassroots volunteers who work to deliver a cleaner, greener environment.

The Queensland Sustainable Cities awards program aims to recognise the work of community groups, business, government, schools and individuals in creating a cleaner environment for a sustainable future, for all.

The awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the local achievements of urban communities across Queensland.


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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Keep Queensland Beautiful, David Curtin (Chief Executive Officer): 0435 602 737

Mackay Regional Council, Cr. Greg Williamson (Mayor): 07 4961 9455

Withcott: Queensland's Friendliest Town 2016

David Curtin - Monday, August 22, 2016

The town of Withcott in the Lockyer Valley has been awarded the title of Queensland’s Friendliest Town for 2016 by environmental movement Keep Queensland Beautiful.

Since 1999, Keep Queensland Beautiful, as part of the iconic Tidy Towns competition, has awarded one outstanding Queensland town with the Friendliest title, based on set criteria judged by a panel of assessors.
This year assessors were extremely impressed by Withcott’s ability to achieve so much, with a strong community spirit - from a relatively small population of 1,000 (according to the last census).

The tireless work of local Councillor Janice Holstein, the Lockyer Valley Regional Council and wider community has paid off for Withcott; being awarded a 4 star rating in the Queensland Tidy Towns program in 2015.

“Civic pride is alive and well, with residents taking part in or initiating a number of community improvements and programs to make their ‘village’ more welcoming to visitors.” said David Curtin, Chief Executive Officer of Keep Queensland Beautiful.

The friendliest town award acknowledges a whole-of-community effort, not just Council’s contribution to advancing the community.

I am absolutely thrilled our town has won Queensland’s Friendliest town, as the people here are just terrific.

Having been involved with the Tidy Towns program for some 16 years, I’m so proud of the Withcott community for such an outstanding achievement, well done Withcott!” said local Councillor Janice Holstein, Lockyer Valley Regional Council.


Some highlights of the Withcott submission included:
  • An annual region-wide garden competition has engaged the local school (Withcott State School), with students taking ownership of developing and maintaining a range of edible gardens.
  • The Foothills Festival has become an annual celebration with in excess of 100 pieces of artwork, sculptures and photography displays and more than 50 stallholders and exhibitors.
  • A council-run mobile library visits on a fortnightly basis to deliver library lending services, provide information in the form of print, magazines and DVDs and offer their services to local schools.
  • Council supported a community-led initiative to add planter box gardens and a sense of place to a well-used truck-parking area on the Warrego Highway so the town itself retained and increased its own sense of village despite the location.
  • A men’s shed was established in the wake of the 2011 floods to assist with the human recovery, as men in the area still suffered depression, loss and on-going medical conditions caused by trauma.
  • Every Tuesday, a small group of volunteers generously give up their time to pick up litter on the Warrego Highway through Withcott, making sure the town is in top shape for visitors.

Without a doubt, and any visitor would agree, the township and people of Withcott are worthy of this esteemed accolade.

The winner of Queensland’s Tidy Towns competition will be announced on 19 October.

About
Keep Queensland Beautiful’s programs motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action.

Keep Queensland Beautiful is a not-for-profit (apolitical) volunteer driven environmental organisation with a proud 48 year history of delivering successful anti-litter campaigns and education programs.

Our flagship program; Tidy Towns aims to recognise and reward work already occurring in towns across Queensland. The ‘awards competition’ has been adjusted to an accreditation program to better reflect the comprehensive approach that has been a part of the Tidy Towns ethos for many years.

Each town is now recognised through a 1 to 5 star rating system based on their performance in key focus areas; Environmental Innovation and Protection, Heritage and Culture, Community Spirit, Litter Action, Resource Recovery, Waste Management, Water Conservation and Energy Efficiency.

History
Queensland Tidy Towns started in 1974.

Previous Withcott Tidy Towns success:
2012: Litter Prevention Award for the “Litterbug” campaign.

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MEDIA ENQUIRIES:
David Curtin, Chief Executive Officer, Keep Queensland Beautiful
M: 0435 602 737
E: dcurtin@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au

Queensland installs Australia's first Powerwall battery for solar trial

David Curtin - Wednesday, January 20, 2016
A Queensland government-owned power company has installed the country’s first solar battery storage system from Tesla as it begins a year-long trial into how it can reward consumers who cut their reliance on the electricity grid.

Energex, which has installed a Tesla Powerwall and another storage system from Californian company Sunverge at its Brisbane training facility, will collect data to work out how to integrate solar batteries into the network with financial incentives for customers.

Roma: Queensland's Tidiest Town for 2015

David Curtin - Monday, November 23, 2015

Queensland’s Tidiest Town


Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, David Curtin, today announced Queensland’s Tidiest Town for 2015.  Keep Queensland Beautiful’s programs motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action.

Our flagship program; Tidy Towns aims to recognise and reward work occurring in towns across Queensland. The Queensland Tidy Towns program has been adjusted to an accreditation program, to better reflect the comprehensive approach that has been a part of the Tidy Towns ethos for many years.

The accreditation rating provides participating towns with a 1 – 5 star rating, based on their performance in key focus areas; Community Action, Resource Recovery, Waste Management, Litter, Environmental Innovation and Protection, Heritage and Culture, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation.

The winning town; Queensland’s Tidiest Town has the opportunity to represent the Sunshine State at the Australian Tidy Towns awards – to be hosted and announced in Toodyay, Western Australia in March 2016.

Experts agree that civic pride is a critical factor in the development and improvement of any community. Tidy Towns provides an opportunity for communities to showcase their heritage and culture, innovative and natural environments.

This year, Roma has been rewarded for their innovative holistic efforts to keep their town clean and green.

Roma in the Maranoa district of South West Queensland is situated at the junction of the Warrego and Carnarvon highways. It is the centre of a rich pastoral and wheat-growing community.

 

With a modest population of 6,906 residents, Roma continued to impressed the Keep Queensland Beautiful assessment panel with their dedication to Resource Recovery.

Resource recovery is the selective extraction of disposed materials for a specific next use, such as recycling, composting or energy generation in order to extract the maximum benefits from products, delay the consumption of virgin resources, and reduce the amount of waste generated.

The people of Roma have made a conscious effort to divert waste from landfill, having implemented some innovative resource recovery programs, such as;

  • Drop Zone Roma (a 1 day eWaste collection event, collecting 1,200 kgs in electronic waste)
  • Mobile Muster (14.49kgs collected of mobile phones and accessories)
  • drumMUSTER (over 10,000 drums collected to-date)
  • Nugrow Composting Trial (20,000m3 green waste diverted from landfill)
  • Concrete Crushing (50,000 tonnes diverted from landfill and used to surface local roads at landfill)
  • Steel & Battery Recycling (1000 tonnes sold to recyclers)
  • Oil Recovery (20000L oil recovered)

Roma has been awarded a 3 star rating in the Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation.

The Queensland Tidy Towns accreditation provides formal recognition of the hard work that communities are already carrying out to foster long-term environmental and social health.

Through interaction with local governments, businesses and schools, community groups and committed individuals; Keep Queensland Beautiful encourages a state-wide network of grassroots volunteers who work together to deliver and greener and cleaner, litter-free environment.

-ENDS-

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Keep Queensland Beautiful, CEO, David Curtin: 0435 602 737