Published On: November 6th, 2019

The winner of the iconic Keep Australia Beautiful NSW Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards for 2019 was announced on Saturday 2 November 2019, during a dinner in Cessnock, NSW.

The Keep Australia Beautiful NSW (KABNSW) 2019 Overall Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Award was presented to Murrurundi, qualifying the town to represent NSW in the Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Awards.

Murrurundi also won the Environmental Communication Award for their ‘100 Mile Dinner’ project and the Community Spirit and Inclusion Award for their local drought relief program – ‘Doing it for the Farmers’.

The Awards dinner – hosted by KABNSW and the 2018 winner, Cessnock City Council – was held at Pokolbin Hall. It followed a program of local tours, category award announcements and case studies of inspiring projects from Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns entrants.

The Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns program recognises and rewards the accomplishments of regional councils and their communities, many of whom are volunteers actively working towards making their regional communities a prime model for sustainable practices.

KABNSW CEO, Val Southam, explained that this program started in 1981, when it had a more prevalent focus on beautification.

“Over the years, the categories increased to cover all areas of sustainability,” commented Ms Southam.

“Hence the expanded name: Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns.”

Ms Southam added that the awards are supported annually by the NSW EPA (DPIE) and the Return and Earn Container Recycling Scheme.

“Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns is about more than just receiving or giving accolades. It is a great opportunity for towns to showcase their achievements, share with other communities and learn from others,” said Ms Southam.

“These tireless community efforts are inspiring and are a great example of community spirit in the bush.

“Every year, we receive entries of very high quality and we always look forward to seeing how communities deal with their local environmental challenges.”

This year, drought affected communities featured prominently, showing the resilience of communities in working together and supporting each other.

“All category finalists are to be commended for their efforts, but there can only be one Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns Overall Winner,” said Ms Southam.

Doug MacDonald, KABNSW Sustainable Communities – Tidy Towns on ground assessor said that the winner of the Overall Award has demonstrated all key values of the Awards program across the width and breadth of the community.

“Murrurundi stands out as a community that is fully engaged and supportive of each other. They have been undertaking sustainability and waste projects for a long time and know what it means to be a sustainable community,” concluded Mr MacDonald.

For a list of this year’s winners and highly commended, click here.