Tidy Towns 2010

2010 VICTORIAN TIDY TOWN OF THE YEAR

RUTHERGLEN

On the banks of the Murray River, Rutherglen is has some of the world’s richest wines, oldest river red gums, idyllic pastoral scenes and historic buildings. The township was established in the gold rush of the 1850’s and has worked to preserve its original characteristics while adding modern conveniences. A number of initiatives were entered into the awards this year, including 150th anniversary celebrations of discovering gold in the town, the regeneration of Racecourse Reserve into a nature reserve and shooting range, restoration of the historic St Stephens Church, the establishment of a rail trail between the town and Wahgunyah, and a holistic approach to sustainability at St Mary’s Catholic School.

COMMUNITY ACTION ≤3000

MURRAYVILLE – MURRAYVILLE COMMUNITY INC.

MILDURA RURAL CITY COUNCIL

With a population of only 250, Murrayville has completed a large number of projects to make their town neater and more attractive. Projects undertaken have included upgrading the caravan park amenities, landscaping the main street, creating a museum, improvements to the cemetery, and interpretive signage at many historical sites. The town showcased their work during their Easter centenary celebration this year, which was attended by over 1,700 people.

COMMUNITY ACTION >3000

MORNINGTON COMMUNITY GARDEN MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE COUNCIL

The Mornington Community Garden was established nearly 10 years ago. With more than 80 members and wide community participation, the garden gives members an area to grow their own organic fruit, vegetables and herbs. Free workshops are run on activities such as composting, seed-saving and soap making. The garden’s mini-wetland has attracted many birds and frogs to the area.

CULTURAL HERITAGE

GIVING OUR PAST A FUTURE” – ST ARNAUD COMMUNITY ACTION GROUP

NORTHERN GRAMPIANS SHIRE COUNCIL

The St Arnaud Community Action Group and Queen Mary Gardens Committee have transformed their Heritage Precinct into a beautiful local asset. The old Post Office is now a Bed and Breakfast, the Crown Lands Office has been transformed into a Tourist Information Centre, the Kara Kara Shire Hall is a restaurant and community space, and the original Fire Brigade building has become the Historic Society’s Museum.

PAM KEATING ENVIRONMENTAL INNOVATION

THE CLIMATE CHANGE CONVERSATION – MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE COUNCIL

MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE COUNCIL

Mornington Peninsula’s Climate Change Conversation educates the community about climate change threats, engaging them in projects that address barriers to change. Over 3,000 residents attended presentations in the Shire, and many now receive a regular newsletter. 300 homes have been fitted with solar systems, an Eco Living Centre has been established, and more than 100 businesses have participated in Green Business Network workshops.

TOWARDS ZERO WASTE

LANE BUILDERS CONTRACTORS – HORSHAM TIDY TOWNS COMMITTEE

HORSHAM RURAL CITY COUNCIL

Lane Building Contractors are the first builders in the Wimmera to be accredited Master Builders Association Green Living Builders. The company send brick and concrete waste to a local farmer for crushing and re-use, make timber scraps available to locals, recycle all metal materials and provide bins on site for tradesman to use. This has saved 5.5 cubic metres of bricks, 1.35 tonnes of tin and metal scrap, 14.3 cubic metres of plastic and 20.5 cubic metres of cardboard.

PROTECTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT

GEMMILL’S WETLAND – KIWANIS CLUB OF MOOROOPNA

SHEPPARTON CITY COUNCIL

The Kiwanis Club of Mooroopna has transformed the neglected Gemmill’s Wetland from an unofficial rubbish tip into a beautiful community space. The area reduces water use, decreases rubbish, offers a haven for local flora and fauna, and provides community recreational spaces. It also links to other trails in the Mooroopna parkland network.

COMMUNITY GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIPS

VIOLET TOWN BUSH NURSING CENTRE – VIOLET TOWN ACTION GROUP

STRATHBOGIE SHIRE COUNCIL

The Violet Town Bush Nursing Centre has undergone significant growth over the past seven years. Its Community Outreach Health Service now includes a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Counsellor, Rural Outreach Worker, Social Worker and Community Nurse. A Medical Clinic also opened in November 2009, offering the town its first full time doctor service

WATER CONSERVATION

ST ARNAUD WATER WISE PROJECT – ST ARNAUD COMMUNITY

NORTHERN GRAMPIANS SHIRE COUNCIL

After years of drought, St Arnaud has taken several steps to virtually drought-proof their public spaces. They have increased water sources by repairing an old water storage system used during the gold rush, diverting storm water, using an old swimming pool for storage and capturing recycled water from the local treatment plant. The facilities are connected to public parks and gardens through a series of pipes and pumps, providing water all year round.

WATER CONSERVATION – JUDGES COMMENDATION

RAINBOW AIRSTRIP DEVELOPMENT – RAINBOW TOWNS COMMITTEE

HINDMARSH SHIRE COUNCIL

Working closely with several government organisations and community groups, The Rainbow Towns Committee has made a parcel of public land available for a variety of community uses. It now acts as an airstrip for the Air Ambulance, and is used for fire fighting in nearby national parks. There are also plans to build an aircraft hanger that will be available to the public

EFFICIENT ENERGY

VT RETROFIT BUILDINGS – VIOLET TOWN ACTION GROUP

STRATHBOGIE SHIRE COUNCIL

Violet Town has improved the efficiency and comfort of their Early Childhood Centre and Community Complex by redesigning the roof, installing solar panels, tinting windows, and constructing an edible garden. An number of energy and water saving devices have also been installed, including timers on the heating system, solar hot water, and ‘helicopter’ fans.

YOUNG LEADERS

JACK SMYTH – VIOLET TOWN ACTION GROUP

STRATHBOGIE SHIRE COUNCIL

Jack Smyth is a local electrician with a young family. Jack was concerned about the type of environment his children were growing up in, so decided to become a ‘green’ electrician. He now installs solar and other energy-saving devices in homes, and travels to communities to educate them on the benefits of solar. Jack continues to be involved in a broad range of community projects while running a successful business

ACTIVE SCHOOLS

BALBIROOROO COMMUNITY WETLANDS & BIMBLEMEER – BALNARRING PRIMARY SCHOOL

MORNINGTON PENINSULA SHIRE COUNCIL

Balnarring Primary School’s impressive suite of sustainability initiatives have reduced waste to landfill by 23%, water use by 90%, and energy use by 10% over the last four years. The school’s work on the Bilbirooroo Community Wetlands has increased indigenous plants and wildlife in the area. The wetlands now have an extensive network of tracks, boardwalks, and interpretive signs, and are used as a hands-on education facility for the school and community.

DAME PHYLLIS FROST

DON JOHNS – HORSHAM TIDY TOWNS COMMITTEE

HORSHAM RURAL CITY COUNCIL

Don Johns has been a key part of community life in Horsham for over 40 years. A keen sportsman, Don has also been a councillor, mayor and president of numerous sporting, local government and community organisations. For many years he played the role of community pharmacist, and is a loving father and husband. He helped lead Horsham to win the 2001 Australian Tidy Town of the Year Award, and several state Tidy Towns Awards. He is still an active leader in the community, acting as chairman and patron of a number of local groups.

TIDY TOWN OF THE YEAR

RUTHERGLEN

Located in north east Victoria, Rutherglen is a community of 2,000 that is blessed with the great wines, the beautiful Murray River, ancient river red gums, idyllic pastoral scenes and historic buildings. The main street of Rutherglen is very attractive and surrounding streets, parks and highways are virtually litter- free. The township was established in the gold rush of the 1850s and has worked to preserve its original characteristics while adding modern conveniences.

The Rutherglen community, via the shire, a network of local community groups and schools, has a strong commitment to sustainability and heritage. A number of initiatives were entered into the awards this year, including 150th anniversary celebrations of discovering gold in the town, the regeneration of Racecourse Reserve into a nature reserve and shooting range, restoration of the historic St Stephens Church, the establishment of a rail trail between the town and Wahgunyah, and a holistic approach to sustainability at St Mary’s Catholic School