Towns across the Cessnock LGA will be putting on their best face when the Keep Australia Beautiful Tidy Towns assessors arrive this month to judge 18 entries submitted by local groups.
In the Cessnock area, assessors Richard Wiezel and Peter Ryall will be visiting Branxton, Cessnock, Greta, Kearsley, Kurri Kurri, Millfield and Wollombi.
"Communities from across the Cessnock LGA traditionally do very well in the Awards," Cessnock Council's Environment and Waste Service Manager Michael Alexander explained. "Last year our groups won six awards which was a fantastic effort and the volunteers involved should be exceptionally proud."
Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities is the flagship program of Keep Australia Beautiful NSW and 2012 marks its 32nd anniversary. The program fosters and recognises group and individual endeavours that protect, preserve and enhance local environments and communities across regional NSW.
The results will be announced in early November at the much anticipated Tidy Towns Awards Weekend in Kyogle, the current Overall winner. Peter McLean, CEO of Keep Australia Beautiful NSW, said Assessing Week was the beginning of a lengthy judging process that culminated in the Awards Weekend, which is always hosted by the current overall Tidy Towns title-holder.
"The Awards Weekend presents a great opportunity to learn from other Tidy Towns participants, attend workshops and build important networks around rural NSW. You don’t have to be a participant and I encourage all community-minded people to contact us for an invitation to this exciting weekend focused on building sustainable communities," Mr McLean said.
"The written submissions this year indicate that many towns throughout the State are developing innovative and resourceful ways of being sustainable in the face of a host of financial, environmental and social issues. These communities embody the Tidy Towns Awards ethos and with great enthusiasm."
As well as the Overall State Tidy Towns Award, awards will be given in the following categories:
Office of Environment and Heritage NSW Cultural Heritage Award
"Do the Right Thing" Waste Minimisation Award, sponsored by Packaging Stewardship Forum
Office of Environment and Heritage NSW Wildlife Corridors and Habitats Conservation Award
Water Conservation Award
Schools Environment Award
To learn more about Tidy Towns for next year, please contact Yolande Presland, Tidy Towns Program Manager on 0409 463 227.