Mount Gambier has been crowned the 2019 KESAB Sustainable Communities (Tidy Towns) winner following on site judging last month. Mount Gambier was up against three other South Australian finalists including Whyalla, Streaky Bay and Kimba. Following the visits KESAB judge Alex Hammett recommended to the KESAB Board that Mount Gambier be crowned the overall South Australian winner.
“Mount Gambier’s entry embraced initiatives by the City of Mount Gambier and many groups within the community,” Mr Hammet said.
Throughout the entry, the commitment, spirit, hard work and cohesiveness of the community was evident and this makes Mount Gambier a shining example of sustainable communities.- KESAB judge Alex Hammett
To qualify for the overall town awards an entry must have projects in six categories, including the compulsory category – community action and partnerships.
“Mount Gambier showcased a number of sustainability initiatives as part of their submission but it is not just the big council projects that contribute to the win,” Mr Hammett said.
“Community initiatives like Recycled Runway, initiatives in schools to tackle waste, volunteer work in the Valley Lakes Conservation Park rounded out the initiatives such as the ReUse Market and Rail Trail projects from Council that cement the win for Mount Gambier as a whole.”
The KESAB Sustainable Communities program started as Tidy Towns in 1978 and has grown to be an iconic South Australian environmental education and action program.
“City of Mount Gambier has a long history with Tidy Towns, and more recently Sustainable Communities, and will now represent South Australia at the National KESAB Awards being held in Alice Springs in April 2020,” City of Mount Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard said.
City of Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin OAM attributed the success to the proactive work of both Council staff and the community.
“We are thrilled to be judged the 2019 KESAB Sustainable Communities winner. We are very excited about representing South Australia at the national awards.”
“Well done and thank you to the community for contributing to making Mount Gambier a really community minded and sustainable city,” Mayor Martin said.
The submission for the award covered various sustainability efforts that were both community and Council led including the Gambusia eradication at the Railway Lands catchment area, installation of solar power and LED lighting, heritage and education initiatives and community events.
A special thanks to the initiatives of Recycled Runway, Tenison Woods College, Community Action for Sustainability, Natural Resources South East, Nature Glenelg Trust, Independent Learning Centre, local Rotary Clubs, and the Valley Lakes Conservation Park volunteers for their contributions to making our city more sustainable. – City of Mount Gambier Environmental Sustainability Officer Aaron Izzard
According to KESAB CEO John Phillips the Sustainable Communities program is about people getting together to help their local towns, schools and businesses to provide a better place to live, work and play and a place where visitors are delighted to go and locals want to stay.
“It’s about protecting, conserving, managing and improving South Australia’s resources and natural environment,” Mr Phillips said.