|South East Queensland’s Tidiest Town is REDCLIFFE!|
Redcliffe was today named South East Queensland’s Tidiest Town at the 2010 Ergon Energy Tidy Towns Regional Awards.
Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland CEO, Rick Burnett said Queensland’s oldest historic seaside town of Redcliffe was a celebration of lifestyle, going right back to its origins.
“Its award winning museum is a popular destination for day trippers from Brisbane,” Burnett said.
“And the new Ted Smout Bridge connecting the peninsula with the mainland has lifted the Redcliffe profile enormously.
“The Clontarf Visitor Information Centre, fully staffed by volunteers, shows the spirit of the area, keeping visitors informed about the activities in and around Redcliffe, including the daily feeding of local pelicans.
“The pelicans have their own time clocks and line up for a feed of fish and a vet check of their health and well-being.
“The new bridge also has special landing platforms for the pelicans, and local fishermen have specially built safe fishing bays.”
Redcliffe’s local volunteers help protect the local environment including Hays Inlet, Bemner Road Reserve and the award winning Redcliffe Botanic Gardens.
Margate’s green Urban Village Development has the 60 mega litre underground tanks, streetscaping and no overhead powerlines.
The 1,060 solid pollutant filters keep rubbish from entering the sea.
The Reddy Guides show visitors around Sutton’s Beach.
Walkways and bikeways allow enjoyment of the view of the bay.
Redcliffe’s many festivals including the Kite Fest, The Mullet Festival, the Superboat Grand Prix, The Greek Blessing of the Waters, The Festival of Sails and the Hays Inlet Festival make sure there is something for everyone in Redcliffe.
Ergon Energy Chief Executive Ian McLeod said as the principal sponsor of the Queensland Tidy Towns for the past 12 years, Ergon Energy had seen first hand the pride and passion people have in their local communities and the effort they put in to presenting their communities in the best possible light.
104 towns from eight regions throughout Queensland entered the Tidy Towns program this year.
“I congratulate Redcliffe and today’s outstanding achievement award winners, and wish them all the best in the lead up to the State Awards announcements in August”.
The Tidy Towns program is all about building on that community pride and fostering sustainable communities.
“In the 12 years we have been associated with the Program we’ve seen the enormous difference it has made” he said
“People are rightfully proud of their local community and this program gives them an opportunity to showcase what makes a particular community unique.”
“We are proud to partner Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to supporting the regional communities in which we operate” he said.
“This partnership also provides with an opportunity to promote our philosophy of sustainability through green energy, environmental awareness and regional development in Queensland.
Today’s awards were announced at a Moreton Bay Regional Council-hosted function.
As well as the title of Tidiest Town, 11 outstanding achievement awards were announced:
1. Environmental Protection Award: Beenleigh & Eatons Hill
2. Queensland’s Young Legends Award: Redcliffe
3. Paradise & Bishopp Outdoor Advertising Heritage Award: Bribie Island
4. Australia Post Bush Spirit Award: Withcott
5. RACQ Litter Prevention Award: Caboolture
6. Resource Recovery Award: Bunya
7. Partnerships Award: North Lakes
8. Grundfos Pumps Water Conservation Award: Bunya
9. MINT Outstanding Achievement Award: Stephen Hilditch from Pomona
10. Friendliest Town Award: Pomona
11. Ergon Energy’s Energy Conservation Champions Award: Maleny
Redcliffe’s win recognises outstanding achievement in all award categories.
It will now join the Tidiest Town winners from the seven other judging regions as finalists for the State title to be announced at a gala ceremony in Mackay, on the evening of Monday 30 August.
Within the next few weeks, the top three outstanding achievement award winners in all other categories from around the State will be selected and shortlisted for the State titles.
Interviews | Rick Burnett
0419 460 782
Ergon Energy Tidy Towns 2010 South Queensland Outstanding Achievers
Judge: Lorraine See – judges comments included
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AWARD … Beenleigh & Eatons Hill
This award recognises the commitment to protecting and managing the environment.
The Eagleby Wetlands are a 20 hectare reserve bounded by the Logan River to the north and the Albert River to the south. The reclaimed land features varied animal and bird habitats including melaleuca and brackish swamps, freshwater lakes, woodlands, cane fields and open grasslands. 203 bird species have been identified and 2 bird hides have been built to observe the rich bird life. Half of Queensland’s raptor species have been observed there. Pathways and boardwalks allow access to the areas with interactive signage used to educate visitors. The reserve is part of a much larger precinct which includes sporting fields and an exercise trail. The area was restored by the local community to preserve the natural environment for all to enjoy now and in the future. The reserve also acts as a natural filter which assists in flood mitigation. It is a beautiful green backdrop to a heavily urbanised area.
The old Bunya Park Animal Sanctuary was saved from housing development when it became the Kumbartcho Sanctuary Native Botanical Gardens where over a million native plants endemic to the region have been grown to date and sold at very reasonable prices to the public. Planting local native plants attracts wildlife back to the area. Over 70 volunteers work on site but the nursery now employs 1 trainee and a disables apprentice funded by government. The Federal Government has awarded the sanctuary Environmental Fund status to allow Deductable Gift Recipient status. Interesting interpretative signage is in place and self-guided maps allow visitors to browse at their leisure. The sanctuary is a popular educational facility for local schools and community organisations.
QUEENSLAND’S YOUNG LEGENDS AWARD … Redcliffe
This award recognises the demonstrated accomplishment in youth initiated or led activities.
Redcliffe’s Youth space’s new program is a winner. The Our Future program has employed 15 young people who are passionate about the environment and teaching the community to care for their future. These young people are at risk of drug abuse or offending. The program is about facing fear and changing behaviours. The participants have changed their outlook and are now becoming positive role models to children for whom they have produced a big book and game to educate about recycling and the benefits. The participants have also established a drought resistant, native plant garden as a gift to the community. The garden is enhanced by organic and recyclable materials and public artwork made from 100% recycled materials. The overarching aim of the program is for students to gain employment. The positive outcome is that 10 of the 15 participants have achieved this goal with another participant achieving an educational outcome. Another positive from Redcliffe’s Youth Space and their co-ordinator Jarryd Williams, Moreton Bay’s Citizen of the Year.
Paradise & Bishopp Outdoor Advertising HERITAGE AWARD … Bribie Island
This award recognises the commitment to the preservation, conservation and celebration of history, heritage and culture.
Bribie’s new seaside Museum provides an open plan, naturally lit space for locals and tourists to enjoy exhibits showcasing the local history and a unique fish collection. The museum also houses a micro cinema for the screening of documentaries and movies related to the collections. Permanent exhibitions include the 1799 Norfolk Expedition by Matthew Flinders and Bongaree, a Fish and Fishing exhibition and an exhibition based on the life of Bribie’s favourite artist, Ian Fairweather, Life’s a Beach exhibition based on the social history of Bribie Is, Fortress Bribie based on the fortifications and role Bribie had in WW2 and a ‘Welcome to Country’ indigenous exhibition. The museum has inspired the community to produce a self guided heritage walk, visiting 16 different historical sites around Bribie. Bribie Island’s new museum positioned on the magnificent Pumicestone Passage is a modern, architecturally designed building with an external deck for partying which provides an avenue to celebrate Bribie’s unique history and provide local jobs.
This award recognises the commitment to solving problems faced during difficult times.
The small town in the middle of the Warrego highway connecting Brisbane and Toowoomba does it tough. The highway cuts the town in half and there is no overpass or pedestrian crossing to negotiate the traffic. The school is on one side and the sports fields are on the other. Parents are required to drive their children across the road. Withcott’s well recognised Litter Patrol has an endless job cleaning up the litter that is thrown out of cars as they pass through the town. They take their lives in their hands as they clean up the verges of the highway. The town is powering ahead and after negotiating with Main Roads are hopeful for a crossing or their dream, an overpass, in the near future.
RACQ LITTER PREVENTION AWARD … Caboolture
This award recognises the litter management and abatement within the community.
St Paul’s College identified a litter problem and the year 7 students decided to join the Moreton Bay Regional Council’s School Waste Minimisation Program. Research included an audit on the school’s waste, a commitment to reducing the waste and the opportunity to engage children in a hands-on investigation of waste and recycling. The results of a concerted effort to minimise waste resulted in a huge reduction in the amount of waste the school sent to landfill. The year 7’s litter-free lunch program reduced waste by 75% on the day. The aim is to encourage further school involvement in the composting collection program, to host more litter-free lunches, to introduce recycling bins with a recycling program in the near future to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
This award recognises the conservation of natural resources, through recovery, reuse and appropriate waste management.
A beneficial partnership between the Council and Porta Crush Concrete results in the crushing of concrete pipes, bricks, pavers and left-over concrete from building sites into various grades of concrete. The crushed concrete is then used to construct new roads at landfill sites at Dakabin, Bunya and Caboolture giving all weather access to sites. The positive outcomes include less quarrying of rocks for road base, less cartage of roadfill, keeping concrete debris out of landfill reducing pollution by less cartage.
This award recognises the partnering to motivate, educate, involve and enhance the school community.
The North Lakes Youth Activity Program was developed in partnership with the Moreton Bay Regional Council, Stockland Development Group, Redcliffe Youth Space and Westfield Shopping Centre in response to a need to solve the problem of disengaged youth causing problems at the shopping centre on Thursday night during late night shopping. Shoppers were not coming out because of the youth ‘problem’ at the centre. Creative and entertaining activities have been provided for the town’s youth and children and organised by Redcliffe’s Youth Space organiser, Jarryd Williams, in a volunteer capacity. A great space was found at the shopping centre and the popularity of the program sees young people travelling from far afield to be there. Activities such as dancing, singing, ad lib competitions and other recreational activities are very popular. The activities are open to all and the initiative has brought together community groups who were previously in conflict. Teenagers now encourage young children to hip hop and organise competitions. An impromptu idol competition can occur and the organisers follow the ‘feel of the night o decide on activities. Several businesses have had to employ more workers on a Thursday night to cope with the increased trading caused by the influx of people coming out for the fun. Young People and families all gather together and encourage each other to join in. The reduction in Young Offenders is an obvious outcome and positive social behaviours have replaced antisocial behaviours, reducing the workload on the police and security workers. This is another positive initiative for Moreton Bay’s young people.
This award recognises the outstanding accomplishment in water conservation.
To conserve Moreton Bay’s valuable water resources The James Drysdale Reserve and Dam has had its existing dam wall raised to capture more stormwater to be used to water seven sporting fields saving valuable potable water. New more efficient sprinkler heads, new pumps and new irrigation lines with moisture sensors have been installed and a central control computer system monitors regulate sprinkling times to allow longer watering, less often to allow a deeper rooting system to be more drought resistant. Water is collected from downpipes and run-off from the 521 000 square metre of playing fields is diverted to the dam.
Mint OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD … Stephen Hilditch
This award recognises the outstanding contribution by an individual or group to the community.
Stephen Hilditch is the voice of Pomona with Keep Australia Beautiful. Stephen enters Pomona in the Tidy Towns competition every year and has done for 15 years. He is passionate about Pomona and works extremely hard to build a strong community with a happy, healthy, vibrant outlook. He is president of Pomona Inc. which is responsible for running the Pomona Markets, the Majestic Theatre and the Old Pomona Railway Station. He is the person who solves public problems, eg electricity outage at the BBQ shelter, paints signage for the Art Gallery who have no income, changes light bulbs in the 4 metre public ceilings to save money, Stephen is also the licensee of the Majestic Theatre, which involves going to Brisbane for a Responsible Management of a Licensed Venue course for 2 days and a Responsible Serving of Alcohol course so that he can save money by serving behind the bar at the theatre. Stephen chairs the Executive Management Committee for Pomona Inc and the Board of Management for the Majestic Theatre. He sits on the advisory committee for the local newspaper, the Cooroy Rag and Councillor Lew Brennan’s committee for community champions. As a Justice of the Peace, Stephen helps the local police with DVOs, search warrants and other legal matters. He travels around the community to sign papers when people can’t travel to him. He is a Lay Preacher and Warden in the Anglican Parish of Cooroora and is responsible for Management and Property of four churches in the parish and sometimes officiates at weddings and christenings. He is basically the spokesperson for the community who liaises with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council (and even stocks the Doggy Doo bags!!) and the local newspaper. He cannot walk past litter without picking it up. All this work and more is done voluntarily. In his ‘spare’ time he runs Pomona Real Estate 6 days a week. He is a champion for Pomona and its residents, is always pleasant and friendly, and is the living example of the ‘if you want something done, ask a busy man’ philosophy.
This award recognises the outstanding commitment to, and active promotion of, visitor friendliness.
Once again Pomona has many new initiatives to make it a better, friendlier place to live. As well as the fabulous activities organised by Pomona Community house including a new Gluten Free Cooking Class and many fun and educational events for senior citizens a Carers Support Group has been set up. Sunshine Coast Regional Council realises that some aged or disabled people have trouble getting to the shops and have set up Council Cabs service, collecting people from their homes once a week and, for $2 each way, drive them to the local shops and bring them home again. Another travel initiative is the new FlexiLink Maxi Taxi service which connects Pomona to Cooroy, operating 6 days a week, 3 times a day. A new free legal service has been set up with four local lawyers providing legal advice and appropriate referrals every Tuesday night. The service is not means tested and will help people become better informed about legal matters such as credit and debt advice, driving offences, neighbourhood disputes etc. All activities and services can now be viewed on the new noticeboard outside the Community House (which was having a new wheelchair access ramp built on the day of judging!) Pomona is a popular visitor destination for great shows at the Majestic, the only remaining Silent Movie Theatre in the world, with Ron West still playing the sound effects on his organ. Buses arrive daily for the interesting shows. New streetscaping is almost complete giving the town a leafy, historic, friendly feel. The parks and gardens are well resourced with facilities including exercise equipment to keep the community fit. New walking tracks are popular. The famous ‘King of the Mountain’ race up Mt Ninderry is a must on everyone’s calendar and becoming an iconic event on the Sunshine Coast. The community’s support of Samantha Vines, the seventeen year old, local girl who is a world class karate champion shows the town’s friendliness in support of their own.
This award recognises the accomplishment in the conservation of energy.
The Sustainable Maleny group work towards making Maleny a self sufficient community. Maleny’s Sustainable Banking Credit Union is underwriting the Sunshine Coast’s new energy saving initiative – ‘the 10 000 Solar Homes Program’ which aims to set up solar power to the Sunshine Coast at no upfront cost for the residents to install a 1.6kw system which will feed back into the grid. The money saved on electricity bills goes to pay for the solar system. Other Sustainable Maleny initiatives include the purchase of 50 parabolic solar cookers imported from India and sold at a discount to Maleny residents; the purchase of 100 solar hot water systems also to be sold at a discount; a fun approach to Earth Hour with locals taking to candlelit dinners at home and in local restaurants and involvement in the Climate Smart Home Service where for $50 you can have an audit of your energy usage with tips to reduce energy usage. Maleny is also part of the Transition Towns movement which brings the community together to respond to the challenge of climate change and find alternatives to fossil fuels. The town’s Slow Food Movement looks at the future of food and aims to reduce the transport of large scale produced food to replace it with organic and sustainable agricultural practices. A local food picnic is held each September.