Win has Collie cock-a-hoop

Emily AceSouth Western Times
The restored Collie Art Gallery.
Camera IconThe restored Collie Art Gallery. Credit: Nic Ellis/The West Australian

Collie was named the 2018 Tidy Towns State winner by Environment Minister Stephen Dawson on Friday, after residents’ work on a number of significant community initiatives throughout the year.

Projects included the revitalisation and reopening of the town’s museum, improving the health of the Collie River and numerous community clean-ups.

One such clean-up, led by the Rotary Club, enlisted 120 volunteers who collected 4.5 tons of rubbish.

The museum restoration took a dedicated group of 60 residents one year to complete, in which they repaired and upgraded displays and cleaned, catalogued, and digitised thousands of photos.

The museum reopened in July 2017 and work continues to restore collections and improve accessibility for visitors.

Collie also excelled in environmental sustainability, setting up the Collie Weeds and Waterways Advisory Committee to improve the health of the Collie River.

Collie shire president Sarah Stanley said the win was unexpected but she was honoured to receive it on behalf of the town, staff and hard-working volunteers.

“It is a wonderful opportunity to showcase all the improvements we have made to the town,” she said.

“We have been working really hard in diversifying our town and our economy and it is really nice to be able to showcase how far we have actually come.”

Cr Stanley said resident Nola Green was the “stalwart” for Tidy Towns and was pleased she was recognised for her ongoing dedication. “She has been involved in the awards for 42 of the 49-year award history,” she said.

“She puts together the submission for us every year and keeps the appearance of the town front and centre in people’s minds, so it is a great honour for her as well.”

Ms Stanley said she was “hopeful” Collie could take out the national award to be presented in Smithon, Tasmania, in April 2019.

“We will put our best foot forward for WA and see if we can bring home the trophy,” she said.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray welcomed the news of the award win.

“Over the last few years, Collie has gone through a major transformation making it a very attractive town for both tourists and residents,” he said.

“This achievement has been helped immensely by the volunteers in the Tidy Town group and we wholeheartedly thank and congratulate them.”

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