[singlepic id=400 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt has congratulated Innisfail resident Sharon Petersen who won the best garden balcony category in the Queensland Government’s Social Housing Garden Awards.

Mr Pitt said the annual awards recognised tenants who took pride in their gardens and helped improve not only their homes but neighbourhoods and communities.

“These gardens, and the time, effort and care taken with them, are a great example of how social housing tenants contribute to their communities,” Mr Pitt said.

“This year’s winners were selected from 138 entries in the Cairns region. A total of 1141 entries were received across Queensland.

“I congratulate all the tenants for taking part in the awards which have been running for the past 15 years.

“I particularly commend Far North Queensland Regional Tenants Advisory Group Inc for helping the government manage the awards and make them so successful.

Community Services and Housing Minister Karen Struthers said the awards contributed to building stronger, greener, healthier communities.

“In 2011–12, the Queensland Government will allocate more than $1 billion to social housing programs and infrastructure,” said Ms Struthers.

“This is the biggest investment in social housing this state has ever seen, and it’s great to see tenants taking care of these properties and pride in their homes and gardens.

The Cairns region has 3507 social housing tenancies. The Queensland Government’s investment in the region includes a maintenance and upgrade budget of approximately $16,261,328 in 2011–12.

The forecast for new construction in 2011–12 includes 10 units of accommodation at an approximate cost of $3,101,534.