Swansea named Australia’s Tidiest Town

Article image - Swansea named Australia’s Tidiest Town

Located in Tasmania, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council’s coastal township of Swansea has taken out the prestigious title of Australia’s Tidiest Town for 2007. At the awards dinner staged in Ballarat in May, Swansea triumphed over more than 1,000 entries in the Keep Australia Beautiful Australian Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Awards. The town also took out the Community Action Award and the Heritage and Culture Award.

Swansea boasts a substantial number of historic homes and buildings. Heritage restoration is a major priority, along with colourful banners and numerous well kept residential gardens complementing the town’s presentation.

Swansea’s recycling and resource recovery initiatives have been successful in diverting large volumes of waste from landfill, while numerous public waste and recycling bins featured throughout the town enable visitors to separate waste and recycle at the source.

Swansea Tidy Towns Chairman, Kyrle Hodson, said he believed Swansea had won because much work had been done in a variety of areas, including cleaning up the natural environment.

“A lot of work has been done removing weeds such as box thorn and gorse,” he said. “A lot of planting has gone on in new areas and also where a lot of the weeds have been removed. But I think it’s a combination of many factors, which is what Tidy Towns is based on. We are only a little town of 500 people and we were up against towns of around 9,000 and 10,000 people. They obviously have a lot more resources in money and people.”

At the Awards Dinner, John Forrest, Federal Member for Mallee – a region with a strong history of Tidy Towns winners, said Australians are more aware than ever of the fragile nature of our environment.

“Each and every one of us has a role to play in protecting it for the future,” he said. “I congratulate all of the participating communities and more than 90,000 volunteers who have worked so hard to improve the quality of their environment through the Tidy Towns competition. Their example shows us that making a difference can start at home.”

Keep Australia Beautiful National Chairman, Councillor Don Chambers, added that the Tidy Towns has grown in size and breadth since its inception 30 years ago. He said it now focuses on ensuring regional communities become more sustainable.

“It is particularly good to see that many towns are recognising the challenges posed by climate change and are working to address this issue,” he said. “Swansea has shown a wide diversity of interaction between communities, Local Government, businesses and citizens.”

Swansea first entered the Tidy Towns awards in 2004, winning its population category of 300 to 1000 people. It repeated that achievement in 2005, and then took out the State award in 2006.

Other 2007 Australian Tidy Towns Achievement Award winners are:

  • Environmental Innovation – Kingston, SA
  • Litter Prevention – Cue, WA
  • Resource Recovery – Leeton, NSW
  • Community Partnership – Roma, QLD
  • Protection of the Environment – Benalla, VIC
  • Young Legends – Kingston, SA
  • Dame Phyllis Frost (Group) – Leeton Tidy