Environmental News

Brisbane still leading in sustainability

David Curtin - Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Brisbane has been announced as Queensland's Cleaner Cities awards winner for the second year running by the NGO environmental movement; Keep Queensland Beautiful.

The Cleaner Cities Awards recognise the work of community groups, business, government, schools and individuals in creating cleaner urban communities.

The accolade encourages, motivates and celebrates the local achievements of urban communities across Queensland.

From an eligible 13 Council regions across Queensland, Brisbane City was rated highly across all eight (8) focus areas; Community Action and Partnerships, Litter Prevention, Resource Recovery and Waste Management, Environmental Innovation and Protection, Water Conservation, Energy Innovation, Heritage and Culture and Young Legends.

With a diverse range of projects assessed; Brisbane City Council has maintained their title as Queensland's most sustainable city for their commitment to reducing their environmental impact footprint and enhancing the lives of the whole community.

For example:

  • Council has a low emission bus fleet that is now 100% wheelchair accessible (from May 2015)
  • Roma Street Parkland has been awarded the first Queensland "Green Flag"
  • Brisbane Bin and Recycling smartphone application (launched November 2014) 
  • Tip Shops in partnership with Endeavour Foundation
  • Signatory to Flurocycle - recycling mercury based lamps
  • Garage Sale Trail partnership to encourage the reduce, reuse, recycle ethos across the City
  • Involvement in the Healthy Waterways Reusable Bottle Behaviour Change Program
  • Supporting the Community Conservation Partnerships Program (Habitat Brisbane, Creek Catchments and Environmental Education Centres)
  • a commitment for 40% bushland cover across Brisbane
  • Introduction and continued promotion of the Recycling Art Competition
  • Terracycle Cigarette Butt recycling trial; 100 bins collected 320 litres of cigarette butt waste
  • An impressive 50% reduction in littered items in the CBD and Fortitude Valley
  • 125 new recycling bins focused on away from home public place recycling
  • Litter Enforcement Team issued 6,680 infringement notices, attending 128 community events has seen a decrease in offences
  • Educational tools such as the Little Book of Litter
  • New litter prevention campaign encouraging residents and visitors to work together to keep Brisbane clean
  • A further 420 Council buses will be modified with a 5 minute idle shutdown to reduce carbon emissions
  • Established the Reduce Your Juice program with Citysmart, helping 1000 households save 19% off their annual electricity bills
  • Largest single purchaser in Australia of 100% Greenpower
  • A $120 million Better Bikeways program is the largest bikeway project in the World
  • A combined commitment of $10.7 million towards nine stormwater harvesting sites
  • Fostered an innovative and creative community with the Creative Brisbane: Creative Economy 2013-22 Strategy
  • The Mt. Coot-Tha Precinct underwent a four hectare expansion during the Legacy Way tunnel project, which has seen 31,000 native trees planted
  • and a continued effort Towards Zero Waste.

Brisbane City has quickly become a leader in sustainable practices, with the above dot points just some of the outstanding projects implemented by Council or supported by Council through partnerships with schools, businesses and community organisations.

Brisbane residents have a City to be proud of.

Beautiful Burleigh named Queensland's Cleanest Beach

David Curtin - Thursday, May 07, 2015

Burleigh Beach on the Gold Coast has been named Queensland’s Cleanest Beach for 2015 by Keep Queensland Beautiful.

The two-and-a-half kilometre stretch of pristine white sand beat a number of other beautiful coastal stretches to the award with its innovative cleanup efforts and community partnership initiatives.

“The Gold Coast is already famous for its beautiful beaches but we were impressed at how so many members of the Burleigh community came together to look after this precious resource,” said Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, David Curtin. 

“Local schools, surf lifesavers, the Gold Coast City Council, a recreational running club, youth clubs and the Jellurgal Aboriginal Cultural Centre have all come on board and this award recognises their efforts.” 

Some of the initiatives include:

Daily maintenance and beach sweeps
Beach care litter clean ups and audits
A butterfly corridor project
Water conservation strategies
Solar-powered beach patrol tower
A heritage trail
Dune plant propagation program
Outstanding school education through the Griffith Centre for Coastal Management.

“Some of the youngest members of the Burleigh community have been involved in achieving this award including the C&K Kindergarten and Burleigh Scouts,” said Mr Curtin. 

“If pre-school children are able to adopt the Keep Queensland Beautiful message, then surely the rest of us can do more to prevent litter, increase recycling and generally work to make Queensland number one in Australia.”

Member for Burleigh Michael Hart MP said he was thrilled to have Queensland’s cleanest beach added to Burleigh’s long list of achievements.

“Burleigh is home to world famous surf breaks, award winning restaurants and cafes, and now we can call Queensland’s cleanest beach our own,” he said.

“Burleigh has always been known as a great place to live, work and raise a family and now it is even greater,” Mr Hart said.

Councillor Greg Betts, who represents Division 12 on the Gold Coast City Council, was very pleased to hear the news.

“This award just backs up what the local residents and visitors to beautiful Burleigh Beach already knew – that this is one of the jewels in the Gold Coast crown.  Everyone loves the place so much, and they always take care not to destroy what they came to enjoy” said Councillor Betts.

The Gold Coast City Council takes a strong attitude to caring for the city’s beaches, and Burleigh beach is one of the most highly used public spaces in the city.  

Councillor Betts went on to say; “I congratulate the community on their efforts and I also take my hat off to the work of the Council staff who make sure our beach is clean, tidy and safe to use every day of the year”.

The Clean Beaches Awards program has been running since 1999.  Beaches are considered against key criteria: Community Action and Partnerships, Litter Prevention, Heritage and Culture, Resource Recovery and Waste Management, Water and Energy Conservation, and Environmental Protection and Innovation.

The Keep Queensland Beautiful Clean Beach Accreditation program is an opportunity for any beach in the state to earn a 1-5 star rating and enter Queensland’s Cleanest Beach awards. 

Coastal communities, councils, surf lifesaving associations, schools and other interested groups can become involved in the program. 

Burleigh Beach achieved a 4-star rating and will be considered for the national Clean Beach Awards Competition which will be announced in Sydney on July 21, 2015.

-- ENDS –

Media Enquiries

To arrange an interview or for any further information please contact:
David Curtin - Keep Queensland Beautiful on 07 3252 2886 or 0435 062 737
Tegan Croft – Griffith Centre for Coastal Management on 07 5552 8829 or 0414 762 374

Tambo: a friendly bunch!

David Curtin - Tuesday, December 23, 2014

 

Queensland's Friendliest Town 2014

Tambo in Central West Queensland has been named Queensland's Friendliest Town for 2014 by Keep Queensland Beautiful.

As part of the official Queensland Tidy Towns criteria, communities are reviewed for their 'friendliness' by a panel of assessors.

Tambo have managed to impress the judges with their outstanding customer service information centre, variety of community festivals, tours and attractions; trails and walking tracks, conservation projects and initiatives and their dedication to preserve and protect the natural environment.

Congratulations Tambo!

2014 Round Up

David Curtin - Saturday, December 20, 2014

 

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!

 

Regards,

 

David Curtin

Chief Executive Officer

Queensland's Tidiest Town for 2014 is Cooktown

David Curtin - Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The iconic Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns program in Queensland has undergone a complete overhaul.

Formerly a 'competition' - awarding category honours in Environmental Protection and Innovation, Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, Heritage and Culture, Litter Prevention, Waste Management and Resource Recovery and Bush Spirit. The competition has been replaced by an accreditation program, acknowledging every participating town with a 1 to 5 star rating, based on key environmental focus areas.

For the first time ever, Keep Queensland Beautiful joined the line-up of presentations at the Local Government Association of Queensland annual conference in Mackay (27-29 October).

Click the image below to watch the YouTube video announcement shown at the Local Government conference.



THIS EVENING, COOKTOWN WAS NAMED QUEENSLAND'S TIDIEST TOWN FOR 2014.

Their outstanding Tidy Towns submission highlighted a number of grand achievements in all focus areas, from irrigation of all town parks along the waterfront, plans for one of the largest solar farms to commence over Christmas this year, enormous community spirit during the cleanup from Tropical Cyclone Ita, great tyre, battery and mobile phone recycling initiatives, along with an extensive network of street and public place recycling bins and surveillance cameras to issue penalty notices to those who continue to do the wrong thing.

COOKTOWN IS NOW A FOUR (4) STAR ACCREDITED TIDY TOWN.

Well done to the Cook Shire Council and the Cooktown community!

If you haven't yet joined us on Facebook or Twitter, you should.
http://www.facebook.com/AgainstLitter
http://www.twitter.com/AgainstLitter

Until next time,

David Curtin
Chief Executive Officer

M: 0435 603 737 (Media Contact)

E: DCurtin [at] keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au 

SPECIAL NOTE: Queensland's Friendliest Town will be announced early December! Stay tuned!

Queensland: What a disgrace

David Curtin - Thursday, August 28, 2014

It’s a reputation no Queenslander would be proud of.

Our beautiful State has officially been named the worst littered State of Australia according to the latest National Litter Index (NLI) results, released today by the Keep Australia Beautiful network.

Keep Queensland Beautiful (formerly Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland), is waging a battle against the litter that is a blight on our State from coast to coast – town to town.

According to the index, cigarette butts remained Queensland’s and Australia’s worst littered item, followed by paper, cardboard and plastic.

Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, David Curtin is appalled that Queensland has fallen behind all other States and Territories, saying “Queenslanders and visitors to the Sunshine State should be ashamed of this result. Will our next tourism slogan be beautiful one day, filthy the next?

“If this were a State of Origin, I am certain Queenslanders would pay attention, muscle in and clean up their act.

“It seems when we are away from the home (where we do the right thing), our civic pride goes out the window with the NLI revealing Retail sites and Shopping centres identified as the grubbiest locations across all 151 sites surveyed in Queensland.”

“Do we want the World to remember Queensland as the grubby State when they see us during the G20 and Commonwealth Games?

“I have a simple message: BIN IT. It’s time now to clean up and make sure the message to litterbugs is loud and clear.” said Curtin.

While our recreational parks are cleaner and improving, our retail sites and shopping centres are shameful, and our Highways are strewn with litter and dumped items – either deliberately or by careless travellers not securing their loads when transporting goods or rubbish.

Keep Queensland Beautiful are mobilising armies of men, women and children, along with businesses throughout the State to adopt areas in their local communities that they commit to keeping tidy – it’s called the Adopt-a-Spot program and this simple anti-litter and recycling program has the power to change the environmental health – and the outlook – of entire communities.

Keep Queensland Beautiful will provide the equipment, insurance and training you need to make a difference.

It’s time to spring clean!

Keep Queensland Beautiful is asking all Queenslanders and visitors to our State to pledge their support, change their habits and hold others accountable.

Join the “City Spring Clean” campaign: www.keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au/springclean
Or report a litterer: 1300 LITTER or visit www.litter.org.au

MEDIA CONTACT
David Curtin, Chief Executive Officer, Keep Queensland Beautiful
M: 0435 602 737     E: DCurtin@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au  

Rainbow Bay wins Heritage and Culture National Award

David Curtin - Friday, July 18, 2014

 

Rainbow Bay have taken home the Heritage and Culture Award, won at the Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Clean Beaches Awards 2014. The event was held at Currumbin on the Gold Coast, this morning. The Overall Australian Clean Beaches win went to Nhulunbuy in the Northern Territory.

Australian Clean Beaches judge Averil Bones said “one of the key elements that delivered Rainbow Bay the heritage and culture win was the rehabilitation centre for returned soldiers.”

A notable element of the community’s commitment to acknowledging and conserving its living history is the St George Returned Services Respite Centre. The Centre has been a place for rest and healing since World War II for servicemen and women in the armed forces and is one of the last such centres in Australia.


Australian Clean Beaches Category Awards 2014

Community Action and Partnerships Whyalla, South Australia
Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory
Environmental Protection and Innovation Raspins Beach, Tasmania
Heritage and Culture Rainbow Bay, Queensland
Young Legends Fingal Head, New South Wales
Overall Winner Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory

 

–ENDS–

 

MEDIA CONTACT: 

David Curtin, Chief Executive Officer, Keep Queensland Beautiful - 04 35 602 737

Mundubbera becomes Queensland's first rated

David Curtin - Thursday, May 29, 2014

Residents of Mundubbera were joined by the North Burnett Regional Councillors, local community leaders and the Keep Queensland Beautiful team today to unveil new Tidy Towns accreditation signage for Mundubbera's pride, community spirit and environmental credentials as part of the revitalised Queensland Tidy Towns program.

Mundubbera won Queensland's Tidiest Town in 2013 and has been awarded a 3 star rating under the new criteria.

Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO, David Curtin was thrilled to finally visit the town and recognise the resilience and outstanding community spirit.

"Mundubbera has so much to offer. While touring the town, I was astounded by it's rich heritage and the lengths the local community have gone to to preserve its culture and spirit, the cleanliness and pride of the township, the innovative and holistic environmental practices implemented by the school,"

"Commendable business-community relationships and the strength in the community to move forward and build for the future should be applauded." said Curtin.

The sign was unveiled in conjunction with the launch of the new Queensland Tidy Towns Accreditation program, providing participating towns with a 1-5 star assessment rating based on their performance in key focus areas: Community Action and Partnership; Friendliest Town; Young Legends; Heritage and Culture; Bush Spirit; Outstanding Achievement; Litter prevention; Resource Recovery and Waste; Management; Water Conservation; and Energy Innovation.

North Burnett Regional Council Mayor Don Waugh explained, “Along with being named Queensland’s Tidiest Town, Mundubbera also received the Queensland Bush Spirit Award for outstanding community efforts during and after the 2013 January floods and was Queensland’s entry in the national Australian Tidy Towns Awards 2014, judged by Keep Australia Beautiful early this year, winning two awards - Young Legends Award and Commendation for Community Action and Partnerships.”

“With a population of 1200, Mundubbera has overcome massive flood damage in the past two years and has recovered to be an inspiration and great example of resilience and strong community spirit and care,” Mayor Waugh said.

“Come and celebrate this important milestone in Mundubbera’s recovery; come visit our beautiful town.”

MEDIA CONTACT:

Keep Queensland Beautiful, Chief Executive Officer, David Curtin: 0435 602 737

Queensland's Cleanest Beach is Rainbow Bay

David Curtin - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Nestled in between Point Danger to the east, Greenmount Hill to the west and Boundary Street to the south, Rainbow Bay has been named Queensland’s Cleanest Beach.

Rainbow Bay is the hidden gem of the Gold Coast; best known for hosting the Quiksilver Pro surfing competition, and the first patrolled beach from the border of Queensland and New South Wales, Rainbow Bay has proudly snagged the title from last year’s winner; Currumbin.

At the 2014 Clean Beaches program launch, Keep Queensland Beautiful CEO David Curtin said “The old (and tired) Clean Beaches program has been revitalised to spark new competition from Thursday Island in the north to the iconic beaches of the Gold Coast.

All participating beach communities along the Queensland coast will now be ‘accredited’ a 1 – 5 star rating.”

The new ‘accreditation’ process has awarded Rainbow Bay with a 4 star to kick off the 2014 competition for their success in each focus area.

Rewarded for their strong partnership between ‘Friends of Rainbow Bay’, Griffith Centre for Coastal Management (GCCM), the City of Gold Coast (Council) and the Surf Life Saving Club; the Rainbow Bay community has achieved outstanding success with engaging the local community in regular activities;

  • clean-up patrols to include identification and auditing of litter pollution,
  • high-level dune care protection,
  • school and community-based education programs through the GCCM,
  • participation in the Save our Southern Beaches Alliance,
  • recognition for their litter prevention and management strategies,
  • glass crushing-recycling program at the Surf Life Saving Club,
  • award-winning SMART release seaway system,
  • gross pollutant traps for drainage,
  • solar powered beach patrol towers and bus stops,
  • participation in CoastEd, Waterwatch and Watersaver programs,
  • and a long-standing commitment from Coastguard and Royal Lifesaving Clubs.

 

Member for Currumbin and Minister for Tourism, Jann Stuckey MP said “this was an extremely pleasing result and a deserving acknowledgement of the tireless efforts of locals and stakeholder groups, in particular Friends of Rainbow Bay.

“Currumbin beach was successful in taking out the coveted twin titles of Queensland and Australia's Cleanest beach 2013 and now beautiful Rainbow Bay has become the first beach to win the state award under the new star rating accreditation

 “This state recognition is a testament to the community spirit of residents on the southern Gold Coast.  I extend my congratulations and appreciation to all who contributed to Rainbow Bay receiving this award.”

City of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate unveiled the new accreditation signage this morning said that “This award is a significant endorsement of our combined efforts to make our city’s beaches world-class; and that we continue to lead the way, as a city, in community partnerships and best practice coastal management”

 

ABOUT THE PROGRAM

The Queensland Clean Beaches accreditation program provides an opportunity for coastal communities, councils, and surf lifesaving associations, schools and other interested groups or businesses to motivate people to enhance the quality of their local environment through personal initiative and community action across key environmental focus areas.

It takes a whole of community approach and covers many elements including; Community Action and Partnerships, Litter Prevention, Heritage and Culture, Resource Recovery and Waste Management, Water and Energy Conservation, and Environmental Protection and Innovation.

The 2014 program is now open, until 31 August, register online @ www.keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au


ABOUT RAINBOW BAY

Bounded by two rocky headlands it is popular with simmers and holiday makers for its protected location, surfers for its point breaks, and photographers for its stunning sunsets.

The Rainbow Bay Surf Lifesaving Club deck is the perfect spot to have a relaxing afternoon watching the waves as they roll in the distance with the sun setting over the hinterland.

Snapper Rocks is a favourite surfing spot of local world champs, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore.


MEDIA CONTACTS:

Keep Queensland Beautiful, Chief Executive Officer: David Curtin – 0435 602 737

City of Gold Coast, Public Relations Officer: Nicole Jensen – 0401 442 116

Griffith Centre for Coastal Management , Gold Coast: Joel Hayes – 0414 762 374

New CEO amid Board reshuffle

David Curtin - Monday, February 24, 2014

Keep Queensland Beautiful reveals new CEO amid Board shuffle

Rick Burnett who held the position for four years, met with the organisations new Board of Directors last month, when both parties agreed on his departure.

His departure comes after a board of six new Directors were elected at the January 20, Annual General Meeting.

Newly elected Chairman, Peter Black said both Burnett and the board recognised that it was an appropriate time to hand the baton onto a new CEO.

"Rick has been an asset to Keep Queensland Beautiful over a long period of time and has overseen some of the most successful years in the organisations history - mainly the rebranding of Keep Australia Beautiful Queensland last year to Keep Queensland Beautiful, a move to refocus on local State litter and recycling issues.

"The Board acknowledges his wonderful service and wish him well in whatever path he decides to take in the future.

Black said current Keep Queensland Beautiful employee, David Curtin (previously responsible for Organisational Development and Fundraising) has been appointed as interim CEO.

Among his key responsibilities as interim CEO, Curtin will oversee the implementation of a program review, volunteer and donor recruitment drive, develop strategies to increase the revenue base and launch a state-of-the-art smartphone application to improve Queensland's dirty litter habit.

The new CEO has highlighted the need for transformation at the organisation, promising to deliver renewed programs, relevant to key stakeholders and local governments across Queensland.

"Our iconic programs; Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches are tired - they're older than I am and we all know, to remain relevant, we need a new coat of paint every now and then.

"Our plan is to revitalise these programs and the delivery to strengthen the tourism economy in Queensland and give Councils something to shout about and be proud of, something that will involve the young and old in our robust Queensland communities.

"Queensland is still the worst littered mainland state in Australia - we need to work with the Government and communities to improve our rating." Curtin said.

Support our new vision; become a member, donor or volunteer: visit keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au


MEDIA CONTACTS:
David Curtin, Chief Executive Officer
P: 07 3252 2886 | 0435 602 737
E: DCurtin@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au

Peter Black, Chairman
P: 0421 636 496
E: info@keepqueenslandbeautiful.org.au