​MacDonnell Council cleans up at 2014 Territory Tidy Town awards

24 October 2014

MacDonnell Regional Council goes from strength to strength as it continues to bring improvement to its residents’ quality of life. This was recognised again on Friday night at the Territory Tidy Town awards ceremony where MacDonnell Regional Council emerged as the major winner of the evening:

  • Titjikala won Territory Tidy Town award for the second consecutive year
  • Titjikala also won Best Medium Community for the second consecutive year
  • Finke won the Community Participation award
  • Haasts Bluff won the Most Improved Community award
  • MacDonnell Regional Council won the inaugural Best Regional Council award

“We are proud of all our communities and all our communities are happy for Titjikala being the winners again” said Council President, Sid Anderson.

Last year the small community of Titjikala, nestled among red sand dunes at the edge of the Simpson Desert, all turned out for a celebratory barbeque following their win. We wait to see how the community of around 200 residents celebrate being named Territory Tidy Town winners again – one thing is for sure: the community will be kept tidy!

The entire Titjikala community embraces the responsibility to keep their community clean. The local Civil Works team of the MacDonnell Regional Council provides the backbone for getting things done while also supporting the efforts of residents.

For two consecutive years Titjikala has won the Best Medium Community award qualifying it to compete against the best of the Territory to be named Territory Tidy Town.

Since first being named the 2013Territory Tidy Town, Titjikala has installed street-name signs and taken delivery of a reconditioned compactor truck to improve its regular rubbish collection service. It has also seen upgrades to its cemetery including a shade structure, seating, wheelie bin-stands and a water tank and its family park has had a shade structure, water bubbler and reticulation installed.

In recent years the Territory Tidy Towns competition has been reinvigorated in remote communities across the Northern Territory. Following Titjikala’s success this year, competition for the honour had increased throughout the MacDonnell Regional Council.

“MacDonnell Regional Council communities just keep looking better!” said Hiemo Schober, CEO of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council NT after visiting all MacDonnell Regional Council communities, as he travelled around the Northern Territory judging for this year’s competition, “I was pleased to see how much each of the communities had improved – it is exciting to see, but it makes my job so much harder when I have to decide which is the best. Some communities only just missed out on being named as finalists.”

In winning the Community Participation Award category, Finke is emerging as a challenger to their reigning neighbours. As well as upgrades to its cemetery including a shade structure, seating, wheelie bin-stands and a water tank, Finke (known locally as Aputula) has this year completed its family park with the installation of new playground equipment, shade, seating, bin-stands and bollards. New seating was also installed at the softball pitch with trees planted around the sports ground perimeter. Finke also installed two new pedestrian crossings as well as taking delivery of a new compactor truck that is set to improve its regular rubbish collection service.

Haasts Bluff was recognised for its efforts when named winner of the Most Improved Community category. The Civil Works staff commenced Certificate 2 training in Rural Operations in the Haasts Bluff community in partnership with the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT). Haasts Bluff (sometimes called Ikuntji) has also seen upgrades to its cemetery that include a new shade structure, seating, water tank and wheelie bins, as well as to its family park.

“I knew our communities were doing great work – but to be told we are the Best Regional Council suggests we are doing something right!” said MacDonnell Regional Council CEO, Jeff MacLeod.

When MacDonnell Council formed in 2008 many communities didn’t have a regular rubbish collection and households burned their waste in old fuel drums in the street. Today communities compete to best impress the judges with three MacDonnell Regional Council communities winning in their categories in the Territory Tidy Towns competition – and one of them is named Territory Tidy Town for the second year in a row!.

A healthy competition among the 13 communities of the MacDonnell Regional Council means the achievements of its staff are rated very highly when judged against the rest of the Northern Territory. In many aspects of local government and service delivery in remote Australia, the MacDonnell Council is seen as a leader and innovator by stakeholders and peers.

The indigenous employment rate is maintained at around 80% of the MacDonnell Regional Council workforce. Its community staff are encouraged and supported into leadership and management roles.

The 2014 Territory Tidy Town competition winners were announced at an awards ceremony dinner in Darwin on Friday 24 October 2014. MacDonnell Regional Council was represented at the awards by its President, Sid Anderson and CEO, Jeff MacLeod, along with workers from each of its three winning communities.

Her Honour the Honourable Sally Thomas AC, Administrator of the Northern Territory, the Honourable Adam Giles MLA, Chief Minister of the Northern Territory, and Gary Swanson, Chair of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council NT were in attendance to presents awards throughout the evening.

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