Tidy Towns awards now open

Entries are now open for the annual Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards Program for 2012.

Since 1981 the Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Tidy Towns –Sustainable Communities Awards have recognised and celebrated outstanding environmental initiatives delivered by local government authorities, schools, businesses and community groups. They raise much needed public awareness of the environmental issues affecting regional NSW and encourage community groups to showcase their many efforts to preserve and enhance their local environments.

Originally focused on cleanliness and beautification, the Tidy Towns program has evolved into much more; they provide a blueprint for local communities to achieve environmental, social and economic sustainability.

“Many people associate Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities with picking up litter, but the program has matured a great deal over the years. The program now carries the tag line ‘Sustainable Communities’ to better express current environmental concerns and issues facing regional NSW communities.”

“Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities is a great way for towns across NSW to foster community spirit, show pride in their local environment and gain an external perspective of their town. Towns often say that the assessor recommendations and professional insights help them to overcome project challenges and develop strong local partnerships. The program also attracts a great deal of media coverage, which opens up avenues for funding and additional support.” Peter Mclean, CEO of Keep Australia Beautiful NSW said.

2012 also sees the addition of the New Towns Category, where towns who enter for the first time, or those who have not entered in five years or more receive FREE entry.

“The program is an amazing resource and development framework that communities have been benefiting from over 30 years. Receiving entries from new towns is always very positive as these towns can learn from other towns and vice-versa, which is exactly what the program is all about” said Yolande Presland, Program Manager at Keep Australia Beautiful NSW.

All projects, both big and small are welcome to enter as are projects that are still in the early stages of development.

As well as the title of Overall Tidiest Town of the Year (NSW), awards will be given in the following categories to be announced in November in Kyogle:

* Cultural Heritage Award.

* Bush Spirit Award.

* Waste Management and Litter Reduction Award.

* Water Conservation Award.

* Wildlife Corridors Award.

* Schools Environment Award.

* New Town Award.

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