[singlepic id=448 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says he will establish the Far North Garden Awards 2012 after the Newman Government announced the scrapping of awards for gardeners living in public housing.

Mr Pitt said the awards were a good way of recognising public housing tenants who took pride in their gardens and helped improve not only their homes but their neighbourhoods and communities.

“I plan to open up the Garden Awards to all residents between Mossman and Cardwell, as they are a great way for locals to show pride in their community,” Mr Pitt said.

There will be eight categories this year including:
• House garden
• Balcony garden
• Native garden
• Edible garden
• Common ground garden
• Courtyard/small space garden
• New gardener
• Children’s garden

“We have formed a new committee including members of the Regional Tenants Advisory Group to help coordinate this year’s awards.

“I will be personally donating $100 as the prize for the winner of each category.

“Nominations forms are available now, with the judging taking place later this month and during October,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said the Newman Government’s shortsighted plan to axe the garden awards was another example of the LNP’s lack of compassion.

“The cutting of funding to the public housing garden awards is part of the Newman Government’s broader funding cuts to the $350,000 Tenant Participation Program,” Mr Pitt said.

“$350,000 in funding was pulled from 10 regional tenant groups and 47 local tenant groups which provide information, advocacy and support to public housing tenants.

“Alarm spread through the public housing system after the Housing Minister Bruce Flegg personally wrote to every tenant saying they will either have to move to smaller properties, pay a higher rent, or share with strangers on the waiting list.

“I encourage anyone who wants to nominate for the far north Garden Awards 2012 to contact the Mulgrave Electorate office on 4056 3175 for a nomination form.”