2014 Round Up
As the year draws to a close, it provides a great opportunity to reflect on what we have achieved over the past 12 months. For Keep Queensland Beautiful, 2014 was a busy year which saw us significantly enhance our programs.
Earlier this year we introduced accreditation across our two iconic programs; Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches, providing participating towns and beaches with a 1 to 5 star rating based on their performance in key focus areas.
Experts agree that civic pride is a critical factor in the development and improvement of any community - our renewed Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches accreditation is a platform built to bring the community together, to reward and acknowledge every town, not just category winners - like we have previously done.
The new tidytowns.net webpages will be updated over the Christmas holiday period to highlight the tremendous work our communities have achieved and that we, Keep Queensland Beautiful have had the privilege and pleasure of assessing across Queensland. We need to share these achievements, so our State can continue to grow and prosper. So our tourism economy flourishes and our people feel appreciated and thanked for their hard work.
Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast was awarded the Queensland's Cleanest Beach title, with Cooktown in Far North Queensland being named Queensland's Tidiest Town - two very diverse communities, one on the Queensland New South Wales border and the other, the most northern town on Australia's east coast.
I was delighted to visit both this year and acknowledge the hard work these two outstanding communities are undertaking to improve the environmental health of their regions.
I believe the renewed Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches programs will set a new standard, not just in Australia, but around the World.
On the back of hard work, came reward, with our Adopt-a-Spot program being acknowledged through the "Clean Up Award" by Healthy Waterways and Brisbane City being announced as Australia's Sustainable City for 2014 by the Keep Australia Beautiful National Association.
Importantly, Keep Queensland Beautiful also continued to expand the work it does in the community through our Adopt-a-Spot and Clean Up initiatives. We are extremely grateful for the continued dedication of 69 active volunteer groups, (with 552 volunteers), who conduct regular community cleanups across the Sunshine State.
We are currently compiling all litter data from the past 3 years to form the basis of our Queensland Litter Count report, due to be released in the first quarter of next year. I hope this report will provide our Government stakeholders with a better understanding of Queensland's current dirty littering habit and how Keep Queensland Beautiful's aims to address the behavioural issue over the next three years.
Our school education program; Cleaner Greener Schools experienced an overwhelming increase of 47% of engaged schools, reaching a successful 137 registered schools throughout Queensland. Just this month, I signed an MOU with Keep Australia Beautiful National Association to graduate our 5 star accredited schools into the EcoSchools Australia program. Our education team will work with eligible schools to ensure a smooth transition is achieved and their green-journey continues to be enhanced through further environmental education initiatives.
Overall, this year has been one of change and plenty of growth. I am extremely pleased with the progress we are making and the new and exciting opportunities that await us in 2015.
My team and I, wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy holidays.
On behalf of Keep Queensland Beautiful, thank you for your continued support and we look forward to working with you and your community in twenty fifteen!
Chief Executive Officer