State Winner 2016
Congratulations to the 2016 Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities State Winner: Greenbushes
Greenbushes will represent Western Australia at the Australian Tidy Towns awards to be held at Triabunna, Tasmania in 2017.
Founded in 1898, the South West community of Greenbushes is a small rural townsite with adjacent subdivisions and special rural properties. Local industries in the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes include Talison Lithium – Greenbushes Operations; Auswest Timbers Pty Ltd; farming; horticulture and viticulture. There are two hotels in the town of Greenbushes, as well as a primary school, three churches, a roadhouse, craft galleries, a café, an upholsterer, a bric-a-brac shop, an opportunity shop, Greenbushes Discovery Centre and Greenbushes Community Resource Centre. Greenbushes has a dynamic community garden and its premises host the Blackwood Basin Group (BBG), a non-profit community-based organisation that coordinates environmental management within the Blackwood River Catchment. In 2001, the BBG gained valuable international recognition for its work to protect and rehabilitate the Blackwood River.
To unite its two separate settlements located on both sides of South Western Highway, and to highlight its connection to the tin mining and timber milling heritage, the Greenbushes Ratepayers and Residents Association installed two large metal sculptures made from recycled materials on the highway approaches to town. While the large structures celebrate the town’s heritage, they also help to provide an economic boost by drawing visitors off the highway and into the town.
The Greenbushes Tidy Towns Committee maintains careful records of volunteer hours. Over the last year, 424 volunteers collectively worked 14,291 hours on projects that enhanced the social and environmental fabric of their town: with a population of approximately 600 people, this is an incredible effort. Greenbushes was a state finalist in five of the six state category awards and rewarded with the 2016 State Winner’s title on the basis of its volunteer engagement and the Committee’s ongoing and long-term commitment to entering the Tidy Towns Awards.
The community engages young people in environmental and civic projects to promote civic responsibility and enhance the sustainability of the community. Several groups and proactive teachers at the Greenbushes Primary School ensure there are lots of activities to get young people involved in making their community a better place to live. As a result young people in the town are learning the benefits of ‘belonging’ to a small community.
Please click below to read about some of the projects happening in Greenbushes.
The South Coast port city of Albany won the 2015 Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities state title and is this year’s national finalist in Keep Australia Beautiful’s Sustainable Cities awards to be held in Frankston, Victoria in November. Being situated in a beautiful natural environment, it is little wonder there are many active groups contributing to coastal management, revegetation, erosion and weed control. Organic gardening, recycling and workshops on compositing, worm farms, upcycling and preserving produce also demonstrate a strong culture for environmental sustainability.
Albany also won national acclaim for heritage and culture at Keep Australia Beautiful National’s prestigious Tidy Towns event held in Toodyay in March. In part, this was based on a $20 million world-class war memorial that houses the National ANZAC Centre and on several iconic projects that conserve and interpret Aboriginal cultural heritage. Furthermore, Albany was highly commended on the national stage for environmental education, litter prevention, waste management and resource recovery. Impressively, Emu Point was declared Albany’s first ‘litter-free’ suburb and the local waste services provider, Cleanaway, gave the city a $100,000 grant for the delivery of a very comprehensive community waste education program.
Please click below to read more about Albany’s 2016 Tidy Towns projects and awards:
In 2003 and again in 2005, Collie was Western Australia’s State Winner and in 2006 it won national acclaim as Australia’s Tidiest Town. Collie’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry recognises the need to plan for long-term sustainability because coal and power generation are likely to play a lesser role than they currently do. The town's potential for growth has been recognised in its selection as one of nine Supertowns, a Royalties for Regions initiative that encourages regional communities in the southern half of the state to plan and prepare for the future.
A revitalisation of the central business district has had a major impact on the centre of Collie. The establishment of the first part of Central Park, with a water park and playground has attracted many people to make use of the area on a daily basis. This was particularly evident at the annual Christmas Pageant, with stalls and a temporary outdoor cinema, powered by pedal power. Formalised parking included new shaded bays for people with disabilities and parents with young children. The rotunda was retained as a heritage feature and its style matched in a new ablution block. The streets have been landscaped, and upgrades to median strips and kerbing have linked the town and universal access to the skate park. A newly built child care centre has enabled the old centre to be removed, paving the way for the second stage, which will include a native plant botanic garden, a pop-up kiosk and an amphitheatre with a stage.
In July 2015, the first purpose built ‘A class’ gallery since the WA Art Gallery was built 35 years ago was opened. The gallery has brought a variety of exhibitions and art classes, including special projects for youth. Run by volunteers with one paid manager, the gallery has been a shot in the arm for Collie culture. Friends of the Gallery helped in the planning and have undertaken training in curating and handling collections. Friends also run the gallery, plan exhibitions (both local and visiting) and organise workshops. From the first exhibition of Arthur Boyd, through the Noongar focused Pinjarra massacre exhibition, to exhibitions by local Collie artists and South West artists, the gallery has seen a constant hum of activity. Workshops have provided art education for people of a wide range of ages, with youth being a strong focus. In 2015, Collie was the overall winner of the Public Health Advocacy of Western Australia’s Children’s Environment and Health Local Government Awards 2015 and was awarded a special commendation for consultation with children.
Collie has always excelled in litter prevention, waste management and environmental education. Please click below to read more:
Litter Prevention & Waste Management
The single most important element of sustainability in Australia is water - without it there is no community. In recognition of Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s continued strong focus on harvesting, recycling and reducing water use, the Water Corporation presented a Water Conservation award at Keep Australia Beautiful’s 2016 Tidy Towns state event. Through various initiatives, Kalgoorlie-Boulder is saving millions of litres of potable water. For instance, all of the city's 100 sewerage (some six megalitres a day) is recycled and treated effluent waters the city’s parklands and gardens. Stormwater is reused; stage two of the showerhead swap program has been implemented; and water-wise education initiatives continue. The city is an accredited Waterwise Council and its Goldfields Oasis Recreation Centre is the sixth Waterwise Aquatic centre in WA.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder Urban Landcare Group is a pro-active, energetic, action oriented, volunteer based group responsible for community level bush regeneration and environmental education activities. This band of community volunteers worked six sites across 3,500 hectares and plays an integral role in conserving and enhancing local bushland and educating the community on the cultural and environmental values of local flora and fauna.
Kalgoorlie-Boulder represented Western Australia in the Keep Australia Beautiful National Association’s Sustainable Cities awards held in Brisbane in November 2015. The city won the national Heritage and Culture award and was highly commended for Environmental Sustainability. Over $3 million has been spent on revitalising Burt Street building facades, restoring 41 properties to their former glory c1910. The city’s archives, museums, historic buildings, and art collection are well maintained, curated and conserved and there are many other worthy projects scheduled. For example, the iconic Golden Mile Loopline rail line will be restored in the coming years after the State Government agreed to contribute $3.7 million in funding. Sixteen kilometres of track will be laid between Kalgoorlie and Boulder and a train will once more service the line carrying tourists between the two ends of town: this will contribute to the revitalisation of both the Kalgoorlie and Boulder town centres.
Please click below to read more about Kalgoorlie-Boulder’s projects:
Litter Prevention & Waste Management
Miling is a small MidWest town in the Shire of Moora. In this year’s Tidy Towns judging, the town was rated highly and one of seven communities short-listed for the 2016 State Winner’s title. Some reasons for this accolade follow.
Fiona Brown, Tidy Towns Committee Member, has been successful in advocating for change within the Shire in relation to the placement and repair of public bins. Miling public bins had looked tired and old or had lids missing and, in some locations, there were no adequate rubbish bins at all. Two new green street bins were placed on the main street in front of the Miling pub and the publican set out cigarette butt bins. The Shire has also replaced two broken recycling bins at a location off the main street and a bin at the public toilets. Through her efforts, Fiona was also able to get replacement bins at the popular Miling Sports ground. Household bins have been replaced or repaired when needed and the pub is now recycling cans, paper and bottles due to the information given by Fiona on recycling and the provision of recycling bins.
Litter prevention leadership was channelled into action by the local primary school students in February 2016 who designed posters carrying the messages- 'CARE FOR OUR TOWN' and 'KEEP MILING BEAUTIFUL'. These were then displayed in the Miling Town Hall window and at the Co-op shop. One student, Thomas McNamara, took on the role of young volunteer ranger with the Miling Progress Association and has been actively collecting rubbish in the town.
In 2015, Miling students were introduced to the local Yued language group of the Noongar people with regular exposure to words and social history at the school. This is continuing in 2016 as the students have expressed an interest in learning the language. At the Anzac Day Ceremony and at each school assembly school leaders follow the protocol of acknowledging the traditional custodians of the land with a Welcome to Country. During NAIDOC week the school focused on the theme ‘We all Stand on Sacred Ground’, with the attributes of respect and celebration of Aboriginal culture.
Students are also engaged in the Waterwise program, concept planning for a nature playground, Clean Up Australia Day and club and sporting group activities.
Please click below to read more:
Newman is located 13 kilometres north of the Tropic of Capricorn off the Great Northern Highway in the East Pilbara. Mt Whaleback , the largest open cut iron ore mine in the world, is located in Newman and many other iron ore mines in the region make up a significant proportion of Newman’s local industry. Support industries include mechanical services and labour and hire services.
Newman has an amazing community with many cultural groups living in harmony with the original inhabitants of the land, the Nyarparli and the current custodians, the Martu. The health and wellbeing of the community is considered paramount -the Shire strives to provide and maintain public open spaces such as parks, sporting fields, walking paths and exercise equipment that support positive healthy lifestyles. It also fosters positive community engagement through events, workshops and facilitation of meetings such as the East Pilbara Interagency, Newman Early Years Network and the East Pilbara Youth Engagement Plan. BHP Billiton provides funding to the Shire of East Pilbara and the broader community to assist with the costs relating to hosting events.
As part of their Community Assistance Grant Program, the Shire has granted over $50,000 to not-for-profit organisations, community groups and sporting groups to host events, workshops, memorials, assistance for individuals to travel to state, national and international competitions and for beautification/upgrades of facilities. The Shire has also produced a Newman Recreation Map and adopted a Community Health Plan. This plan includes a healthy eating policy which has been used at all Shire-run and other community events to encourage active and healthy lifestyles within the Newman community.
Please click below to read more:
Port and South Hedland
Due to strong leadership and community engagement, Port and South Hedland in the Pilbara is usually in the mix as a finalist for the Tidy Towns State title. Indeed, the town was a state finalist in four of the state category awards this year and Cemetery Beach is this year’s National Finalist in Keep Australia Beautiful’s Australian Clean Beaches awards. In 2009 and again in 2012 Hedland won state Tidy Towns titles and went on to bring home national awards for a range of innovative environmental programs and for demonstrated collaboration between members of its extensive network of business, industry and community groups.
One of the most prominent programs has been the ongoing turtle monitoring at the two local flatback turtle rookeries on Hedland’s foreshore. Currently in its twelfth year, the program is coordinated by the Care for Hedland Environmental Association and its members dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours each year. This program has also included promoting best practice behaviour by beach users, fox trapping and feral cat eradication. These animal control practices have resulted in significant reductions in the amount of feral animal activity on the foreshore and in nearby areas. The Care for Hedland’s team also runs many other programs, including reef walks, to expose community members to the wonders of Hedland’s marine life. In the 2015 United Nations’ World Environment Day Awards Care for Hedland won the Community Group Category and the Individual category was won by its President, Kelly Howlett.
Please click below to read about the State Category winners: