LOVELY SPOT: Brisbanites Ivan and Cheryl Harrison enjoy Rockhampton’s Kershaw Gardens.
LOVELY SPOT: Brisbanites Ivan and Cheryl Harrison enjoy Rockhampton’s Kershaw Gardens. Picture by Megan Lewis

Rocky takes out tidy town contest

TAKE one attractive city, add a smattering of cherished heritage, mix thoughtfully with the latest technology and architecture, drizzle liberally with a passion for recycling and care for the environment, stir in a unique ability to host national and international events and bake with a sunny disposition ... and what have you got?

The answer, as Ergon Energy's judges have discovered, is Rockhampton - Queensland's Tidiest Town.

After a decade of trying, Rocky finally took the top honour last night when the Tidy Town accolades were announced in Brisbane.

Praise was heaped on the city at the awards ceremony. Tor Hundloe, the chair of Keep Australia Beautiful, congratulated Rockhampton on its environmental initiatives such as the introduction of domestic recycling bins.

And Ergon Energy's chief executive Ian McLeod eulogised about the city's unique friendliness and character.

“Rockhampton hosts many national and international events. Its pride in its history and heritage makes for a remarkably diverse, attractive and vibrant city,” he said.

“The preservation of the old, with the blending of the modern in buildings and technology, all add to Rockhampton's unique environment.

“Rockhampton has its own character which qualifies it for a friendly town destination and extends itself to be proclaimed Queensland's 2009 Tidiest Town.”

Brisbanites Ivan and Cheryl Harrison knew nothing about the award when they broke their journey in Kershaw Gardens yesterday afternoon.

But they were full of enthusiasm for Rockhampton.

“We do a lot of travelling up and down the Bruce Highway and always call in. Kershaw is a fabulous spot for lunch,” said Ivan.

According to Ergon, The Tidiest Town award recognises efficient and effective use of resources against a range of criteria including environmental protection and innovation, litter prevention, resource management, youth initiatives, visitor friendliness, cultural and heritage activities and community partnerships.

Other winners

• Tourism Queensland's Friendliest Town Award: Mudgeeraba

• Australia Post Bush Spirit Award: Normanton, Far North Queensland; and Muttaburra, Western Queensland

• RACQ Litter Prevention Award: Pittsworth, Darling Downs

• Do the Right Thing Resource Recovery Award Sponsored by the Packaging Stewardship Forum: Hervey Bay

• OneSteel Recycling Partnership Award: Murweh Shire Council

• Paradise Bishopp Outdoor Advertising Heritage Award: Bundaberg

• Grundfos Pumps Water Conservation Award: Mackay

• MINT Outstanding Achievement Award: Bargara Innes Park Neighbourhood Watch Group Wide Bay Burnett; and George Apps

• Environmental Protection Award: Woodford

• Queensland's Young Legends Award: Ronan Robinson, Western Queensland; and Burdekin Districts Schools

• Enviro Council, North Queensland Ergon Energy's Energy Conservation Champions Award: Townsville

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