York has featured strongly in this year's Tidy Towns 2013 titles for the Central Wheatbelt and Goldfields region, taking out two of the eight category awards.

The award winners were announced at a function attended by more than 70 representatives from the competing towns at the recreation and convention centre in York on September 20.

York won awards in the categories of Heritage and Culture and Young Legends. In announcing the awards, regional leader for the Department of Environment Regulation, James Milne, said that while York had an ongoing commitment to its history, completion of the research and archive centre was a terrific achievement.
The Young Legends award was for York's strong commitment to youth development, encouragement and engagement in social, cultural and environmental matters, he said. 

Toodyay was named the Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Central Wheatbelt and Goldfields Regional winner. Mr Milne said the award recognized Toodyay for its overall performance with its many examples of community action, networking and co-operation.

A key to their success was the underwriting of their 'adopt a spot' program by the Toodyay and Districts Community Bank Branch of Bendigo Bank. The bank provided sponsorship of $500 a group for community groups that agreed to participate in the Tidy Towns project. In March this year, 16 groups signed up to adopt a site. In addition, the group designed and displayed posters promoting litter prevention messages and kept detailed records of activities, he said.

Other Central Wheatbelt and Goldfields category winners were: Community Action and Partnerships - Toodyay; General Appearance - Nungarin; Waste Management and Litter Prevention - Wongan Hills; Natural Environment Conservation - Kalgoorlie-Boulder; Water Conservation - Merredin and Energy Innovation - Quairading.

Judges also awarded special commendations to: Nungarin Heritage Machinery and Army Museum for its efforts to keep the museum functioning; Calingiri School for engaging students in learning experiences beyond the norm; Quairading for the legendary Tong sisters' daily litter patrols and the town of Toodyay for its strong community commitment to natural environment conservation.

Toodyay will now compete with other regional winners for the Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities State title in November.

Lindsay McNeill

ABOVE: Representatives from York receiving the Tidy Towns heritage and culture award from local parliamentarian, Mia Davies MLA, (L-R) Ian Crombie, Kaye Scott, Janny Harris,  Gail Maziuk and Roy Scott.