Minister to meet Tidy Town hereos

31 March 2014

The Minister for Community Services will visit the Northern Territory’s tidiest community, after having presented Titjikala and the MacDonnell Regional Council with ranging awards including the top prize of Territory’s Tidiest Town last year’s awards.

Following the announcement at the Territory Tidy Towns awards, the inspired Titjikala artists poured their emotions into artworks as they celebrated the small desert community’s grand achievement. Leading Titjikala artist, Marie Shilling’s painting of her community was chosen to be gifted to the Minister for Community Services, Bes Price.

At Titjikala’s invitation Minister Price is visiting this Wednesday 2 April to attend a community lunch where she will be presented with the painting and no doubt, will wish the Titjikala community well at the National Tidy Towns Awards in Victor Harbour this Friday.

The entire Titjikala community has embraced the responsibility to keep their community clean. Their local Civil Works team of the MacDonnell Regional Council has provided the backbone for getting things done while supporting the efforts of others’.

In recent years the Titjikala Civil Works team has been engaged in:

  • repairs and upgrades to buildings, plant and equipment
  • installing wheelie bins with safety stands at every household*
  • initially providing weekly and now twice weekly waste collections from homes and service sites*
  • developing a functioning waste management facility with designated areas for the separation of materials for recycling*; and
  • delivering the community’s wishes for the family park Titji tjutaku Park that now stands proudly as a centrepiece in the community (as well as delivering many other important services for their community)

Inspired by the efforts on the MacDonnell Regional Council and the Civil Works team’s waste management initiatives, Titjikala residents responded with their own individual contributions to make their community the cleanest and tidiest in the Northern Territory:

  • they encouraged their Community Store to replace its use of complimentary plastic bags with paper bags to better manage the local environment
  • along with a concerted supply of healthy produce, the Community Store now separates its waste into foods, plastics and cardboard for specialised processing at the MacDonnell Regional Council waste management facility
  • the Aged Care and Children’s Services requested their own recycling bins to enable them to separate their waste, and the Clinic sorts its medical and regular waste for a more considered disposal regime
  • the Titjikala School is an active and integral component of the community’s pride. Through its educational program the school teaches the virtues of litter control, recycling and the general health benefits of maintaining a tidy town

In supporting this initiative the local Civil Works team along with the Council Services Coordinator regularly visit the school to discuss their waste management processes and help educate the children about good litter control. The education program puts theory into practice with regular student cleanup exercises in the community.

Following Wednesday’s community lunch the Civil Work team head home to pack their bags before driving into the Alice Springs Airport on Thursday to fly south and join other finalist from states across the country at the National Tidy Towns Awards on the evening of Friday 4 April 2014 in Victor Harbour.

Territory Tidy Towns Awards background: At the Northern Territory Tidy Towns awards night last year, the community of Titjikala was first named winner of the ‘Best Medium Community’ category. The night culminated when Titjikala was announced the winner of the major prize, the ‘Geoff Finch Memorial Cup’ – recognising the community as the tidiest town in the Northern Territory.

Tellus Holdings, which is planning a salt mine near Titjikala, is happy to support the Civil Works team’s travel and accommodation to attend the National Tidy Towns Awards.

* When MacDonnell Council formed in 2008, Titjikala did not have a regular rubbish collection and households burned their waste in old fuel drums in the street. This was hazardous for all residents and presented serious risks to their children as they played.

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