Airlie Beach's Tidy Towns accolade
Airlie Beach has been named Queensland's Cleanest Beach in this year's Keep Queensland Beautiful Tidy Towns competition.
Keep Queensland Beautiful chief executive officer David Curtin said the award was really about the whole community, not just the sand, and keeping the marine environment tidy or free of rubbish.
"Clean Beaches has morphed into a more complex competition - a sustainable community that works together to achieve outcomes that enhance and protect the natural environment, expected lifestyles, build community spirit and that implements sustainable practices and programs across nine key focus areas,” Mr Curtin said.
"Airlie Beach was a favourite of our judges.”
Now in its 50th year, the Tidy Town awards seek to reward the sustainable actions taken every day by Queenslanders, recognising the hard work that often gets taken for granted or overlooked in towns across the state.
Mr Curtin said Tidy Towns was more than just a 'beauty' contest.
Airlie Beach and Cannonvale, over the past five years, have undertaken a number of environmental or sustainability initiatives, including the picturesque Botanic Gardens - one of two in Australia that incorporates the marine environment.
Airlie Beach has also undergone a makeover, with the main street revitalisation project and complimentary 'love Airlie Beach' campaign.
"Airlie Beach is one of those places that you either love it, or really-really love,” Mr Curtin said.
"It has a lifestyle that many envy. Pristine beaches, coastal hideaways and adventure for days.
"Who wouldn't love to call Airlie Beach home?”
Other projects in the region noted by Keep Queensland Beautiful were the Whitsunday Reef Festival, sewerage plant upgrade and gross pollutant traps to prevent litter entering Pioneer Bay and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox said it was a fantastic outcome for both the community and its resilient tourism industry that the Airlie Beach/Cannonvale beaches had been recognized as the cleanest in Queensland.
"Our community know that we live in a special and unique part of the world and it is great that we get kudos for keeping our natural attractions in pristine condition,” he said.
"Our $6.3 million Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalisation will be complete after Easter and will transform the beach area with a new 10.5m tall playground, 57 extra sealed carparks, more seating and shade umbrellas, new sound stage, refurbished amenities block, extra landscaping and a 3m wide beachfront path connecting the foreshore to the Airlie Beach Lagoon.
"This hugely exciting revitalisation will create a high-quality seaside experience for all our domestic and international visitors to Airlie Beach and perfectly complement our amazing beaches.”
Keep Queensland Beautiful judges take into account every community's geographic, environmental and economic circumstances, and assess how efficiently and effectively the community uses the resources available to it against a range of criteria.
2018 award winners:
. Queensland's Tidiest Town: Wondai
. Environmental Protection Award: Julia Creek
. Heritage and Culture Award: Mitchell
. Litter Legend Award: Warwick Rubbish Rambler (highly commended: Cr Rick Baberowski)
. Waste Warriors Award: Edison's Burger Bar, Emerald
. Community Spirit Award: Landsborough - love where we live
. Community Champion: Frank Deshon, Dirranbandi
. Energy Innovation Award: Emerald (highly commended: Julia Creek)
. Destination Award: Springsure
. Cleaner Greener School Award: Wondai P-9 State School
. Queensland's Friendliest Town Award: Cloncurry