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Gloucester Platypus Festival – Saturday 7 November

Gloucester Celebrates Blue Stars and Platypuses

The 2015 NSW Regional Blue Star Sustainability Awards and the Gloucester Platypus Festival have merged into a weekend-long celebration of sustainability. Featuring the best Gloucester has to offer in every way shape and form, layered with a generous helping of community spirit. Celebrations kick off at Billabong Park on Saturday 7 November, commencing 8.30am and continue through to 2pm.

The Platypus is an iconic Australian mammal that symbolizes sustainability… without healthy rivers and eco-systems these unusual creatures would have no home. The Gloucester Platypus Festival celebrates these ideals through information, craft, artisan and food stalls, music, and creative play for the kids. Platypus spotting and hands on workshops with Wildcraft Australia are highlights of the festival. Kids of all ages can learn about bushcraft, wilderness education and can learn how to construct a natural shelter. Junk Percussion is on board to teach us that music can be made with just about anything- all you need is your imagination and a beat. The local Bluegrass band “The Grasscutters” will provide some toe tapping tunes during the festival, and you can cool down under the trees by the Billabong with a relaxing Tai Chi class.

A range of food options at the festival will be provided by Gloucester service organisations include steak and salad provided by Rotary, corn cobs by Lions and fresh sandwiches from the CWA ladies. And in keeping with the reuse/recycle theme all food will be served on crockery plates sourced from second hand shops with wash-up stations staffed by the local student representative council.

The Gloucester Platypus Festival is an opportunity to showcase our town with the Blue Star Award delegates who are in Gloucester to announce the winner of the first Blue Star Awards for NSW. 2016 is the inaugural year of the Blue Star Award, which is replacing the NSW Tidy Town Award. Gloucester was the very first winner of the NSW Tidy Towns Award in 1981 and was the very last winner of the NSW Tidy Town Award for 2015, marking the end of 34 years of Tidy Towns Awards in NSW.

The Blue Stars will continue to recognise and celebrate the hard work of NSW citizens who promote responsible environmental management in their local area. Being truly ‘sustainable’ means addressing the entire spectrum of environmental, social and economic factors. The awards recognise civic pride, community spirit, collaboration and future planning in establishing the best projects and programs to come out of NSW communities.

At the 2015 State awards announced late last year Gloucester scooped the awards:

  • NSW Overall Tidy Town Award – Innovation & community spirit to preserve the environment
  • Tidy Town Award – Category C (mid-sized town)
  • Water Conservation Award – Barrington irrigators
  • The Australian Packaging Covenant Waste Management Award – Silage wrap recycling
  • Office of Environment and Heritage Cultural Heritage Award – Centenary of the Gloucester Show
  • Sustainable Business Award – Drifta Camping and Trailer Kitchens
  • Young Legends Award – Ryan Yates ongoing efforts raising money for the Cancer Council

At the national Tidy Towns awards that followed in Sheffield Tasmania, Gloucester also won the National Award for Heritage and Culture. Judge Jill Grant said “This attractive and very historic town has a very strong community support base and its major emphasis on water conservation, community partnerships and sustainable economic opportunities complements its traditional agricultural base.”

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