MOREE Plains Shire Council has been named the joint winner of the AR Bluett Memorial Award for 2012 at the local government conference in Dubbo.
The announcement Moree would share the 2012 award with Lake Macquarie City Council was greeted with spontaneous applause and excitement by conference delegates.
The A R Bluett Award is one of the premier awards for local government in NSW and represents the, pinnacle of achievement for local government.
Trust chairman Graeme Fleming said the judging process for the award this year had been a difficult one and that both winners were deserving.
He said Lake Macquarie City Council, was a rapidly growing area on the Central Coast, which had been “quite strategic
in their decisions with a strong emphasis on sustainability from a financial, environmental, social and governance perspective”.
“Some of the achievements during the year included the Lake Macquarie Variety Playground which has been judged the best all abilities play space in Australia, extensive environmental programs, engagement of the community including youth, indigenous, seniors and those with disabilities, the $3.5 million Cameron Park Community Centre, establishment of a new suburb of Lake Macquarie, the highest home and
business solar generation in the Ausgrid network,” Mr Fleming said.
He said Moree’s achievements were huge too.
“Moree Plains Shire Council, against the backdrop of 10 years of drought and two major floods, has achieved some great results with the $7.4m Artesian Aquatic Centre complex, an entrepreneurial approach to a new council headquarters complex, civic precinct upgrade, new
community library, initiation of the gateway project, as well as a strong meaningful engagement of the indigenous community,” he said.
“They have also been active in the area of coal seam gas debate and have obtained refugee friendly town status.”
Mr Fleming said “at a time when local government was under increasing scrutiny, the trustees were most impressed with the quality of the submissions for the 2012 award and would like to praise the level of excellence that exists within local government.”
“Local government can be very proud of their achievements and this should be more widely acknowledged by other levels of government and the general community”, he said.