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Australian Safer Communities Awards

3 November 2011

The Circular Head Council was today announced as the Tasmanian winner of the Australian Safer Communities Award.

Presented by Western District Commander Lauchland Avery and State Emergency Services Director Andrew Lea, the award was in recognition of Council's Community Road Safety Partnerships (CRSP) program.

"The idea of the program is for communities to tackle road safety issues in ways that are relevant to them, using their own local networks,'' Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam said.

A committee was established in Circular Head in 2007 made up of local service groups, education, police, transport, Council representatives and others to deliver the CRSP program.

"Following a string of particularly bad accidents in Circular Head, I launched the "Look out for your Mates" Mayor's challenge," Mayor Quilliam said.

"The challenge is all about encouraging people to look after their mates by discouraging risky behavior on our roads, for example, not letting them drive if they have been drinking in an effort to keep them safe.

"It works on the assumption that messages delivered by your mates may be more effective than having law enforcement or governments deliver them, no offence to our friends from the Police."

A number of small projects were organised under the "Look out for your Mates" banner to raise awareness of road safety in the Circular Head community.

One of the projects was a short film competition through the Circular Head Christian School and Smithton High Schools.

"The students produced a 30 second television advertisement that included road safety messages and out of the 10 entries, the judges had a difficult task," Mayor Quilliam said.

Other projects include: electronic signage that regularly displays road safety messages, merchandise for licensees such as bar mats, stickers, posters and signage in a prominent place in the CBD that reinforced the road safety message.

Following the success of the campaign, other initiatives have started including the Circular Head Liquor Accord and a late night food van that operates on Saturday nights.

"The idea of a food van came from a young person in Circular Head who was left a quadriplegic and her friend killed in a car accident. They were on their way to McDonalds in Burnie when the accident happened," Mayor Quilliam said.

"The van operates from 10pm until late and enables young people to buy hot food here in town rather than risk driving late at night to get fast food."

The "Look after your Mates" program continues and is a work in progress.

"Feedback and involvement in the program suggests that it has been a success and the fact that there has only been one fatality in the municipality since January 2011 for example, and while this is one too many, is certainly better than where we were a couple of years ago," Mayor Quilliam said.

"We are pleased to be part of a program that helps us build a safe community for everyone and I would like to thank the Community Services staff for their involvement in what has been a very successful initiative."

The Council will now be judged nationally, with the National Award winners being announced later this month in Canberra.