Melton Shire wins Australian Sustainable Cities Awards

Melton Shire Council has taken out the inaugural Australian Sustainable Cities Awards, announced in Canberra in October.

The Sustainable Cities program recognises the efforts of residents, community groups, businesses and government agencies to help protect their local environment. The program is part of the Keep Australia Beautiful (KAB) Australian Sustainable Communities Awards, which also include the Tidy Towns and Clean Beaches programs.

In addition to winning the overall title, Melton also picked up two category awards. These included the Community Action and Protection of the Environment awards. Melton resident, Nora Peters, also received a commendation in the Dame Phyllis Frost category award, which recognises outstanding individual contribution to the principles of sustainable communities.

Sustainable Cities National Judge, Dick Olesinski, said Melton Shire Council has contributed extensive resources to encourage resident participation across a broad range of environmental initiatives. This includes support and guidance for community markets, cultural diversity forums, community leadership training, leisure and open space strategies, environmental improvement initiatives, as well as active lifestyle programs and youth activities.

“Council has placed great emphasis on environmental issues through its own work and in encouraging and supporting the many ‘Friends of’ groups,” Dick Olesinski said.  “These groups, along with Melton students, are to be commended on the broad range of environmental improvement activities they are involved with, their desire to reinforce their message of sustainability and to gradually extend their impact into the broader community.”

Highlighting the importance of the awards, Keep Australia Beautiful National Chairman, Don Chambers, said with climate change and water conservation at the forefront of social and political agendas, it is clear that all Australians must make real changes, not just a token effort, to become a more sustainable society.

“These awards not only focus on environmental sustainability, but also take into account the economic and social growth of local communities, providing strong case studies and setting benchmarks for others to follow,” he said.

Other 2007 Australian Sustainable Cities Award winners are:

Heritage and Culture
Burnie, TAS
Environmental Innovation
National Lifestyle Villages, WA
Water Conservation
Port Augusta, SA
Litter Prevention
Brisbane, QLD
Resource Recovery
Australian Ethical Investments for Trevor Pearcey House, ACT
Community Partnership
Randwick, NSW
Young Legends
Randwick, NSW
Dame Phyllis Frost
Lexie Paul, Burnie, TAS

Further information on the awards and details of the national finalists/category winners can be found at www.kab.org.au