Tidy Town Awards

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (15:21): I proudly stand today to inform the house that a Riverland town, Barmera, has been named the nation's 2017 tidiest town—an outstanding achievement. On the weekend, at the Australian Tidy Towns Awards in Tasmania, Barmera won four of the six categories and the town was highly commended in a fifth category, before being announced the nation's overall winner and after receiving the 2016 Keep South Australia Beautiful winner.

I would like to commend Barmera for its resilience over quite a tough period over the past 10 years. Barmera won awards in the following categories: environmental education, young legends, environmental sustainability, litter prevention, waste management and resource recovery. They also received a high commendation in the community action and wellbeing category.

Australian Tidy Towns judge Jill Grant said that the town had a lot of opportunities for the future, particularly for young people, and that Barmera was a very accessible place, where people can feel included and also join in things in a way that is much easier than it is in some of the bigger towns and cities. I was in Barmera at the Main Street Markets on the weekend and the buzz was quite evident. It was a moment when a town and a community stood tall and were so proud of what they had achieved over a number of years.

We need to acknowledge the efforts of the community and we need to acknowledge the efforts of the Berri Barmera Council in this award coming to fruition against almost 200 applicants from right across the nation. For those who are not familiar with Barmera, I will provide you with some of the great elements of this wonderful slice of the Riverland that has Lake Bonney as its backdrop.

Some of the assets within the award-winning categories on the weekend included the Barmera play space, which is a great community initiative on the Lake Bonney foreshore. It was built by the community and it is a great adventure playground in one of the parks right on the foreshore. It is not one of the soft play equipment playgrounds. It has none of that red, blue, green or yellow type of equipment. It has been fundraised by the community, which is an outstanding achievement.

The Men's Shed repurposes furniture for those in need, which is a great asset to that town and to neighbouring communities. The Barmera Primary School committed to becoming environmentally friendly. That primary school really did stand tall. They also educated their young, particularly through the drought, not only on the impact of what drought means but also to be able to watch the environment and the wildlife that Lake Bonney accommodates flourish once the drought broke. It really was a great asset and a great achievement at the Barmera Primary School. We have the Barmera bush kindy. I do not know whether many people in this chamber have been to visit a bush kindy. It is a kindy out in the bush that really does bring kids together in their natural environment—again, another great attribute.

The Barmera Main Street Markets and the twilight markets are about the community engaging and bringing the community together, giving them purpose. These are great community events, and that is what Barmera is about. Having visited all of these assets of the town, I have never doubted their worthy attributes, particularly their merit in relation to KESAB and, of course, the Australian national awards as the tidiest town in the nation.

We cannot forget the upgrades to the Upper Garden of Memory. It is an outstanding facility for those who have served this great country. The Rocky's Hall of Fame has been an outstanding national success at the Country Music Festival over many, many years, and it has been supported by the Barmera Town Beautification Committee. We have the stunning lakefront with fantastic boat-launching facilities, the Cross of Sacrifice and, of course, the outstanding yacht club.

I would also like to commend Kim and Kay Manning at Top Catch for their fish hotels and the carp catching competition. For those who have not visited Barmera, please do so. It is an outstanding town and an outstanding community and it is looking an absolute treat at the moment. For anyone taking holidays, please visit Barmera.