Old Tidy Towns signs in the Girl Guides Arboretum at Westward Park in Grafton. This photo has been digitally altered. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN
Old Tidy Towns signs in the Girl Guides Arboretum at Westward Park in Grafton. This photo has been digitally altered. PHOTO: ADAM HOURIGAN

Reviving spirit of Tidy Town quest

IS THE state of the Clarence Valley's Tidy Town signs a sign of the times?

A Top Tidy Town award sign from 1983 stands at Market Square, and another from 1984 stands at Westward Park in Grafton.

Both have seen better days.

Spurred by this irony, The Daily Examiner thinks it might be time to reinvigorate interest in the Tidy Towns Program.

Former Grafton City mayor Shirley Adams agrees.

She fondly remembers 23 years spent as the city's Tidy Towns committee chair, and has a continuing passion for the rewarding pursuit.

"In those years we had a tremendous committee made up of community members," she said.

"It was a group effort from everyone in the city or town.

"We won about 14 state awards in that time."

Coutts Crossing has won more than 10 Tidy Town awards, and it is understood that in the past, Maclean, Wooli and Brooms Head have also been nominated for Tidy Town and Clean Beach titles.

More recently, however, it appears interest in the annual awards has lapsed in many parts of the region.

Mrs Adams said it would be nice to see that interest return.

"I noticed in the Sydney paper recently that it's still going very strong in Australia - people are still very proud of their environment," Mrs Adams said.

"You'd have to ask if people are interested in starting a tidy towns committee again."

So that's what The Daily Examiner is doing. We are calling out for community members interested in taking up the Tidy Towns challenge across the Clarence Valley.

Mrs Adams said she believed there were certain areas which needed to be looked at that could make all the difference.

"Look at the entrances into our cities - we've got to get those cleaned up because that's the most important thing," she said.

"People passing through, they'll say, 'Jeez, this looks a nice place'.

"I've often heard of people who moved to the Clarence Valley because they liked the environment."

An initiative of Keep Australia Beautiful, the Australian Tidy Town Awards encourage, motivate and celebrate the achievements of rural and regional communities across Aust

ralia.

Mayor Richie Williamson said while participating in the Tidy Towns program took time and energy, it was definitely of value to the broader community.

"There are already people doing tremendous voluntary work to keep their street, suburb, village or city tidy and that we are very thankful for," he said.

"We have in the past supported various comm

ittees in various ways, and if there was renewed interest from committees the council would be only to happy to hear their proposals and consider support in various ways."

Cr Williamson encouraged any newly formed Tidy Towns committees to phone the council on 6643 0200.



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