Saturday, December 24, 2011

The derision of a 'tidy town'

I guess it is the 'inner city elites' often known as 'latte sippers' who sniff their noses up when driving through a country town in Australia that is as neat as a pin. They are known as 'tidy towns' because of an annual competition run by the 'Keep Australia Beautiful Council'. To the best of my knowledge, neither of these towns has won the title of a 'Tidy Town'. However, to my inner-city jaded sensibility, both Jamieson in Victoria and Wauchope in New South Wales would seem to qualilfy.

According to Wiki, The Keep Australia Beautiful Council is a not-for-profit environmental conservation organisation founded in Victoria in 1969. It is established now in every state and territory, and is jointly funded by both State and Federal governments. The KAB Council runs the 'Tidy Town' competition.

The Tidy Town awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the achievements of rural and regional communities across Australia. Originally focussed on litter reduction and civic pride, they now address the environmental, social and economic sustainability of local rural communities. There is a state winner each year, and an overall national winner.

I suspect there is a quota system at work in the winners list - a bit like the Nobel Prize for Literature. Each state seems to be equally represented in the list of past winners:
1991 Mount Tyson, Queensland
1992 Mount Gambier, South Australia
1993 Forbes, New South Wales
1994 Lucindale, South Australia
1995 Naracoorte, South Australia
1996 Kiama, New South Wales
1997 Stanley, Tasmania
1998 Denmark, Western Australia
1999 Goolwa, South Australia
2000 Batchelor, Northern Territory
2001 Horsham, Victoria
2002 Soldiers Point / Salamander Bay, New South Wales
2003 Wyalkatchem, Western Australia
2004 Port Vincent, South Australia
2005 Mount Gambier, South Australia
2006 Collie, Western Australia
2007 Swansea, Tasmania
2008 Toowoomba, Queensland
2009 Tamworth, New South Wales
2010 Beechworth, Victoria
2011 Lithgow, New South Wales

I think there was some political fall-out from the selection of Lithgow as the national winner for 2011. Something to do with under-handed, skulduggery in the workings of local councils. Really!

The first six images here were taken in Jamieson, Victoria at the end of November this year. The second six images were taken in Wauchope, NSW at the beginning of December this year.


Clytie said...

I love the idea of a Tidy Town award! I've seen towns like this - they are a delight!

Our town has earned the designation of "Tree City USA" for several years, but as far as I can see this only means they document, tag and number each tree in the city (even on private property!), and levy a huge fine against property owners who take out or alter said trees without their prior approval.

But it's kind of nice to be surrounded by "Tree City USA" signs! It makes me feel quite "green"!

Merry Christmas, Julie.

Julie said...

Thank you, Clytie. I will come visit in a sec.

'Tree City USA' sounds like a two-handed sword, doesn't iot? Sad how politics always comes into things like this. The same happens here. However, for the folk on the ground, doing the work, they are as proud as punch of their little towns, and the towns are such a joy to walk around. I have more to show on these two towns over the next little while.

freefalling said...

So much to love in these shots.
Love the 30's lines of the last photo.
And that white rose against the charcoal wall with the timber trim - beautiful.
And that purple flower thing - it gets orange berries on it.

Julie said...

Okay ... Here's how to remember the name of that 'purple flower thing'.In the 40s and 50s there was a male entertainer, who had a gravel voice, could not sing, but could keep a beat; could sorta soft-shoe-shuffle with a cane; doffed his cap a lot; and smiled crookedly. He was particularly ugly. His name was Jimmy Durante.

The purple thingy is a 'duranta erecta' which is a member of the Verbena family originating somewhere like Mexico.

Kay L. Davies said...

I love the idea of skullduggery in here, Julie.
And, not because I like arithmetic (I don't, at all) but when you said the states were equally represented, I had to doublecheck, because I only saw Queensland listed twice. Tasmania only seems to be there twice, as well.
I only noticed this because the only name I recognized from personal experience is Toowoomba, Queensland, but that set me to counting.
Nitpickingly yours,
Luv, K

Joan Elizabeth said...

Didn't know Lithgow was last year's winner but then again I have not had time to read the local newspaper. It is however a neat and tidy town with a council that is very proactive is keeping their community alive despite the loss of manufacturing industries. There would be people who would argue that it could not be a tidy town because of the very important presence of mining.

I think it is the roses and timber dwellings that make your towns so pretty. When timber homes are nicely painted they add colour which is bot present in the brick and red tile roof world of the city.

Mark said...

I often notice faded signs as I approach the villages or hamlets of the North Coast that proclaim "Tidy Town Finalist 1997", for some reason it makes me feel sad.
Maybe we should have an Untidy Town Competition and shame some places into cleaning up there acts, anywhere the Pacific Highway passes through a town can be on the list. My home, south Grafton, is a disgrace with abandoned petrol stations and fast food wrappers strewn around.