- Judges won over by Anzac heritage and preservation of Aboriginal sites
Environment Minister Albert Jacob has congratulated Albany on winning the heritage and culture category at the national Tidy Towns Awards last night.
The Great Southern city was presented with the award at a ceremony in Toodyay, the town that won the 2015 national Tidy Towns award.
Mr Jacob said Albany's win was an outstanding result and reflected its work to commemorate European and Aboriginal heritage. The Minister said Albany was a deserving winner for its monumental achievements across the Anzac commemoration events in 2014.
"The Anzac centenary events attracted 40,000 visitors, doubling the city's population over the commemoration weekend," he said.
"The community rose to the challenge with a 2,500-person volunteering effort to deliver entertainment, accommodation, food and general hospitality to visiting dignitaries and tourists.
"Albany also has significant achievements in preserving and enhancing Aboriginal heritage."
The Tidy Towns national judge cited the development of Albany Heritage Park with state-of-the-art interpretive facilities to celebrate the people behind the Anzac history. This area includes the National ANZAC Centre, Memorial Garden and an Avenue of Honour, Princess Royal Fortress and walks and lookouts including the Padre White Trail and the Convoy Walk.
The judge also commented on Albany's Aboriginal history and the efforts of the Menang people to preserve and celebrate their culture at various sites such as Oyster Harbour fish traps, which date back more than 6,500 years. The judge said viewing facilities and interpretive signage significantly increased interest in traditional knowledge, stories and language.
Albany was also recognised for water and energy conservation through an expansion of a computer-controlled irrigation system and works at the 'Living Stream' project at Yakamia Creek, including planting 3,000 seedlings, rubbish and weed removal, and mulching.
Significantly, the suburb of Emu Point was declared the first 'litter free' area of Albany during the year. The judge also noted a variety of youth development initiatives aimed at improving the lives of at-risk young people via the arts.
"We all have a part to play in fostering sustainability in our communities and a litter-free environment - from business, Government, industry, individuals, schools and local shires. I am very proud that Albany and Toodyay have been leading the way," Mr Jacob said.
Albany is 418km south-east of Perth and has a population of 30,656 people
Tidy Towns annual awards program acknowledges and celebrates regional communities that foster sustainability and a litter-free environment
Keep Australia Beautiful WA co-ordinates the Tidy Towns Awards in WA
Minister's office - 6552 5800