​Three Territory Tidy Town finalists from MacDonnell Regional Council communities

20 October 2014

Communities named include the reigning Territory Tidy Towns winner, Titjikala along with its Simpson Desert neighbour, Finke as well as Haasts Bluff, from within the West MacDonnell Ranges.

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 communities being named as finalists in the Territory Tidy Towns competition.

In recent years the Tidy Towns competition has been reinvigorated in remote communities across the Northern Territory. Last year the entire Titjikala community embraced the responsibility to keep their community clean and proudly celebrated their win. This year competition for the Territory Tidy Town honour was great throughout the MacDonnell Regional Council, with local Civil Works teams providing the backbone of Council achievements while supporting the efforts of other residents.

“MacDonnell Regional Council communities just keep looking better!” Hiemo Schober, CEO of the Keep Australia Beautiful Council NT said after visiting all MacDonnell 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”.

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.

Once again, Titjikala is a finalist in the ‘Best Medium Community’ category. Since being named Territory Tidy Town 2013, 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 while its family park has had a shade structure, water bubbler and reticulation installed.

Finke is a finalist in the ‘Community Participation Award’ category. As well as similar upgrades to its cemetery, 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 will improve its regular rubbish collection service.

Meanwhile, Haasts Bluff’s efforts are recognised though its being named as a finalist in the ‘Most Improved Community’ category. Haasts Bluff (sometimes called Ikuntji) has seen its Civil Works staff commence Certificate 2 training in Rural Operations in its community in partnership with the Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT). Haasts Bluff community 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.

All competition category winners will be announced at an awards ceremony dinner, culminating in the overall ‘Territory Tidy Town 2014’ winner being announced by the Chief Minister in Darwin this Friday 24 October 2014.

With great pride and quiet optimism, the MacDonnell Regional Council’s President, Sid Anderson and CEO, Jeff MacLeod, along with workers from each of the three finalist communities will travel to Darwin to attend the awards.

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