Queensland's 'tidy towns' clean up with awards

Rockhampton named Queensland's most Sustainable Community

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Rockhampton Councillors Donna Kirkland, Tony Williams, Shane Latcham and Acting Rockhampton Mayor Neil Fisher.

Rockhampton Councillors Donna Kirkland, Tony Williams, Shane Latcham and Acting Rockhampton Mayor Neil Fisher.

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Rockhampton and Cunnamulla have been recognised in the Queensland Tidy Towns Awards.

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The Beef Capital has been crowned as Queensland's 'tidy town' for 2020.

Rockhampton was named the overall winner of the annual Keep Australia Beautiful 'Queensland sustainable communities - tidy towns awards', while Cunnamulla was named 'overall highly commended.'

Rockhampton acting Mayor Neil Fisher said the awards was a testament to the hard work, dedication and innovation across council.

"Being announced as the overall winner is a result of the strong performance across multiple nomination categories," Cr Fisher said.

"As well as taking out the overall award, we were pleased to be announced winners for the 'environmental sustainability - water and the resource recovery/waste management categories.

"It is great to see the concepts of our circular economy, which began just a few short years ago, come into fruition."

The judges commented that Rockhampton delivered a range of well planned and executed projects demonstrating a strong commitment to sustainability and the community across all awards categories.

Waste and recycling spokesman councillor Shane Latcham said being awarded in the resource recovery and waste management category was a shared win for council's waste and civil operations units.

"This award recognises innovation and achievements in reducing and managing materials that would otherwise go to waste and is a great example of council working toward building a circular economy for the Rockhampton region," Cr Latcham said.

Infrastructure spokesman councillor Tony Williams said recycling materials for infrastructure projects has not only benefited the environment but also delivered a considerable cost saving.

"Through this project, council has diverted 34,000 tonnes of construction and demolition waste for reprocessing and reuse as concrete, asphalt and top soil, saving council $5.6m," Cr Williams said.

Water and supporting a better environment spokeswoman councillor Donna Kirkland said she was thrilled with the results.

"The environmental sustainability - water category recognises leadership and innovation in water conservation and management for the future, so it is fantastic to be recognised for the work we're doing," Cr Kirkland said.

"The Fitzroy River estuary is a vitally important waterway that supports an abundance of aquatic wildlife and provides significant recreational value to the local community, and the upgrades council and Fitzroy River Water have implemented have delivered more than a 20 per cent reduction in nitrogen released to the Fitzroy River estuary over the last two years."

Cunnamulla Bushlands rehabilitation team.

Cunnamulla Bushlands rehabilitation team.

Paroo Shire Council's Cunnamulla bushlands project took out three categories; 'heritage and culture', 'environmental sustainability; natural environmental management' and 'environmental communication and engagement', while Cunnamulla took home 'overall highly commended' award.

Paroo Shire Mayor Suzette Beresford said council was delighted with the results and would like to acknowledge all the council staff members who were involved in the project.

"It's been a win-win for council with the excellent work the team have completed on the bushlands, and for the community with five local residents gaining a Certificate I in Land Conservation Management," Cr Beresford said.

"Most also had their drivers licences upgraded to manual, first aid certificates completed, as well as gaining useful on the job skills that can be transferred to many other careers."

Tidy Towns awards have evolved to encompass projects and initiatives with a focus on environmental sustainability and resource management to reflect a growing awareness of the importance of community-led environmental action.

The story Queensland's 'tidy towns' clean up with awards first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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