Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) has met with a representative of New Zealand sister city, Whanganui District Council, to discuss Toowoomba’s application to become an accredited Australian Safe Community.
Toowoomba Region has applied for the accreditation and if successful will join communities in New Zealand, Canada and the United States as part of the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network.
Toowoomba Regional Council has partnered with local not-for-profit, Safer Toowoomba Regional Partnerships (STRP) to lodge the application
TRC Mayor Paul Antonio and representatives of SRTP including Chair Cr Geoff McDonald and Secretary Geoff Holmes recently met with Lauren Tamehana, Safer Whanganui Coordinator to discuss the process and outcomes of obtaining accreditation.
Cr Geoff McDonald says that working with Whanganui District Council will help Toowoomba build our case for national accreditation as an Australian Safe Community.
“As part of the application process it has been essential to work with our sister city to discuss their own road to Safe Community accreditation. We have discussed the positive outcomes they have achieved and safety initiatives they have created through the process,” Cr McDonald said.
“Toowoomba is one of the most liveable cities in Australia and we have this tag because of the atmosphere of peace and safety that residents already enjoy.
“Gaining national accreditation will allow us to promote our community with more confidence as a destination for new businesses, migrants and international students.
“Whanganui District Council is already an accredited Safe Community and it is important that we learn from our sister city about how to build our reputation as a safe community.
Geoff Holmes, secretary of the STRP said as an organisation we encourage a culture of safety and peace through initiatives including crime prevention projects.
“Initiatives that the STRP run include the ‘The Heights’ community centre – a venue where programs and activities are available for people of all ages to build a sense of community and harmony – and ‘Graffiti Busters’ – where we encourage the community to report illegal graffiti and arrange its removal, Mr Holmes said.
‘We have been working closely with Council through the application process for National accreditation and have been very fortunate to obtain both financial and in-kind support.
“We are also grateful to the many community groups and religious organisations that have contributed to our Safe Community application and they continue to help us with their commitment to the process.”
Process for becoming an accredited Safe Community:
The Australian Safe Communities Foundation (ASCF) is qualified, as a founding member of the Pan Pacific Safe Communities Network (PPSCN), to award Pan Pacific Safe Community accreditation to communities within Australia who achieve each of the six criteria:
- Leadership and collaboration
- Program reach
- Priority setting
- Data analysis and strategic alignment
- Communication and networking
For information about Australian Safe Communities Foundation go to http://www.safecommunities.net.au/
For more information about Safer Whanganui go to http://www.whanganui.govt.nz/our-district/safer-wanganui/Pages/default.aspx