Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt will present the Far North Garden Awards 2012 this Friday at Hambledon House.

The awards were previously run by the Department of Communities for public housing tenants but were scrapped earlier this year by the Newman Government.

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.

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

“This year’s winners were judged by Marj Trainor and Helena Morris from 84 entries between Mossman and Cardwell and across the Tablelands.

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

“I believe in these awards and that’s why I’ve personally donated $100 as the prize for the winner of each of the seven adult categories.”

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.”