Hunter towns dominate Tidy Towns

Hunter towns have dominated this year’s Tidy Towns – Sustainable Communities Awards. The communities of Gloucester, Toronto, Singleton and Maitland celebrated as they we’re awarded the Overall Tidy Town Award for their population categories.

The towns of Summerland Point and Tilligerry-Tanilba Bay were also recognised with each being named in third place in their population categories for the Overall Award.

Each town implemented various environmental initiatives, constructed strong community partnerships, preserved heritage listings and held local event’s within their area.

Maitland, the Population Category F overall winners, is a thriving central business district surrounded by beautiful countryside and the Hunter River.

In 2013, Maitland implemented an extraordinary range of diverse programs, activities and events that Maitland City Council manages and supports. Programs in areas such as environmental conservation, education, waste minimisation and cultural heritage have been developed within the community. The involvement not only serves to enrich the community, but also ensure Maitland remains sustainable.

Robert Griffin, Tidy Towns Assessor for Maitland, commended the town for its sustainable practices.

“Maitland is in many ways the undiscovered gem of the Lower Hunter offering a rich array of well-cared for historic buildings, extensive parklands, well-maintained civic amenities and a diverse range of activities,” Mr. Griffin said.

North-West of Maitland, lies the historic Hunter Valley town of Singleton which claimed the Population Category E Overall Tidy Town Award. Located at the foot of the Mount Royal Range, Singleton has become a hub for nature-based activities, food and wine.

Singleton has renovated flood prone land into extensive parks and residents in clean up initiatives and tree planting. In addition, Singleton is also the owner of fantastic heritage buildings and preserves it wealth of tradition through local competitions.

Fran Corner, Singleton’s Assessor, said Singleton’s Tidy Town Committee has become an essential part of the towns environmental planning.

“At the core of the community is Singleton’s Tidy Towns Committee and a host of community, business and council activities that use Tidy Towns to celebrate their wonderful town,” said Ms. Corner

Located on the western side of Lake Macquarie, Toronto is the Population Category D Overall Tidy Town winner. Toronto is a tranquil and relaxed lakeside village which has been actively promoting waste minimisation.

Tornoto’s Tidy Town Committee has developed strong partnerships with Council, the Salvation Army, Lake Macquarie Historical Society, Coal Point Landcare and the Toronto Area Sustainable Neighbourhoods Group to tackle waste in the area. Council encourages the use of worm farms at the LandCare depot which is used by many residents, whilst the Salvation Army run a recycling depot to reduce waste of all types of reusable products including electrical goods, furniture and metal. The Sustainable Neighbourhood Group has been monitoring the litter around two major supermarkets and processed an application for recycling bins in the main street to assist in the reduction of objects going to landfill.

“The Toronto Tidy Towns Committee has demonstrated excellent community engagement in programs to enhance the environment and make Toronto a desirable place to live and visit,” said Ms. Moira Ryan, Toronto Tidy Towns Assessor.

Gloucester, located in a picturesque river valley surrounded by hills at the junction of the Barrington, Avon and Gloucester rivers won the Population Category C Overall Tidy Towns Award. The town success was due to its fantastic showcases of pastoral heritage and vast natural attributes.

‘The Gloucester Project’ was a wonderful model of sustainability that could be applied in many regional settings. The community also had strong community partnerships which helped run the ‘Gloucester Sustainable Living Festival’ in October.

“Gloucester is a beautiful town nestled at the foot of lofty and picturesque ranges. The town places high value on social, environmental and economic sustainability, which is reflected in the centre’s impressive array of facilities that would be the envy of many larger centres,” said Ms. Donna Ausling, Gloucester Tidy Towns Assessor.

For a full list of winners from the 2013 Tidy Towns Awards please click here.

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