Mul­ti­ple tidy town nom­i­na­tions again

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - by CO­RAL COOKSLEY

COM­MU­NITY co­op­er­a­tion for sus­tain­able projects nom­i­nated for this year’s state awards drew the at­ten­tion of a Keep Aus­tralia Beau­ti­ful Tidy Town judge on a visit to Beech­worth last month.

Judge Ron Wil­liamson said he was amazed with groups such as Plas­tic Wise in work­ing to­wards the elim­i­na­tion of sin­gle use plas­tic bags with Boomerang Bags mak­ing more than 10,000 in the last 16 months with re­us­able ma­te­rial ones.

“So many projects like this are stag­ger­ing and it’s won­der­ful to see how the town is mak­ing progress,” he said

“It’s fas­ci­nat­ing to see what com­mu­ni­ties can do when mem­bers get to­gether with projects that ben­e­fit the en­tire com­mu­nity.”

The Tidy Town Awards have recog­nised en­vi­ron­men­tal and com­mu­nity achieve­ments of ru­ral and re­gional com­mu­ni­ties for more than 45 years.

Beech­worth’s Iris Man­nik who started the town’s en­tries 25 years ago with a Lake Sam­bell sub­mis­sion, said the awards pro­vided a place to show­case com­mu­nity projects and pro­mote the shire.

“We’ve been sup­ported by In­digo Shire Coun­cil from the start too,” she said.

One of four vol­un­tary judges vis­it­ing Vic­to­rian re­gional and ru­ral ar­eas, Mr Wil­liamson said the awards pro­vided an op­por­tu­nity to often show­case projects that were un­known to com­mu­ni­ties.

Among en­tries for this year’s state awards across nine cat­e­gories are Montes­sori School, In­digo Shire, Bendigo Bank, and Beech­worth Com­mu­nity Part­ner­ships, Woor­agee Pri­mary School and Stan­ley’s Black Barn Farm.

Oth­ers in­cluded a Beech­worth Ro­tary ini­tia­tive or­gan­ised by Howard Mor­ton for Beech­worth Boomerang Bags, Plas­tic Wise Beech­worth, Beech­worth Sec­ondary Col­lege, Bill­son’s Brew­ery and Beech­worth Skate Park.

Beech­worth, named Vic­to­ria’s Tidy Town of the Year for 2017, will host this year’s state awards in Oc­to­ber.

The pres­ti­gious award was also re­ceived by the town in 2009 and 2014, and it was the na­tional ti­tle win­ner in 2010.

Two cat­e­gory awards and two high com­men­da­tions at the Aus­tralian Na­tional Tidy Towns Awards held in Barmera, South Aus­tralia in April this year were bagged too.

Tidy Town award cat­e­gories cov­ered en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity, cul­tural her­itage, com­mu­nity ac­tion and lead­er­ship, com­mu­nity govern­ment part­ner­ships and clean beach/ wa­ter­ways.

Oth­ers cat­e­gories in­cluded young lead­ers, ac­tive schools, en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion, lit­ter preven­tion, and re­source re­cov­ery and waste man­age­ment.

Mr Wil­liamson said the awards now counted sus­tain­able ru­ral cities as well as towns.

Ms Man­nik said the winners an­nounced at the state fi­nals in Beech­worth will com­pete for the na­tional ti­tle which will be awarded early in 2019.

PHOTO: Co­ral Cooksley

IM­PRESSED: Keep Aus­tralia Beau­ti­ful Tidy Town judge Ron Wil­liamson on a visit last month to Montes­sori School with stu­dents Ruby Chabaud, Mya Player, prin­ci­pal Susi Allen, Tidy Towns com­mit­tee trio Iris Man­nik, Jill Jarvis-Wills, and Anne Wil­son, cy­cle three as­sis­tant Asha DilkesHoff­man, and stu­dents Bri­anna Walker and Matilda Ra­ha­ley.

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