Tweed Shire Council wins AR Bluett Award

Tweed Shire Council has won this year's A.R. Bluett Award, the most prestigious Local Government Award in NSW.

The Chairperson of the A.R. Bluett Memorial Trust John Flannery announced that Tweed Shire Council has received one of the award's two sections for 2011, for councils in the NSW Shires Association.

The other section, the Local Government Association section for metropolitan and larger regional councils, was won by Willoughby City Council in Sydney.

John Flannery said the A.R. Bluett Memorial Award is presented each year to the Council that has made the greatest relative progress.

"Tweed Shire Council has displayed impressive community leadership while delivering major infrastructure projects and implementing a broad range of economic and environmental initiatives," he saved.

"The Council acknowledges it has emerged from a turbulent political past and the trustees were impressed with the Council's commitment to delivering a wide range of programs while it balances growth with responsible strategic planning."

John Flannery praised Council's extensive consultation to create the 2011/2021 Community Strategic Plan, which places a high priority on balanced development, investment in community capital and protection of environmental assets.

"The management and councillors display cohesion and vision and have taken very responsible decisions in guiding the Council's long-term financial viability," he said.

"The Trustees were particularly impressed with the Council's community engagement strategy, innovations in economic and tourism development and the breadth of public works projects completed in the judging period."

An award citation from the trustees highlighted a number of Council's achievements during the past year, including:

  • the $76 million Bray Park Water Treatment Plant, construction fully funded by Council
  • the $8 million Jack Evans Boat Harbour revitalisation, funded by grants
  • the Tweed Link weekly newspaper and Council's staff newsletters
  • improved customer services, including SMS and smartphone applications and restructured customer service centre
  • major refurbishments of Fingal Head Boat Harbour, Arkinstall Park Complex, Cabarita Beach streetscape and completion of the Bray Park cycleway.

Tweed Shire Mayor Barry Longland said "The award was a wonderful accolade and recognised the great work Council staff are doing for the community".

"It conveys an appreciation of the role of the elected members and their leadership but the quality of Council's administration and management, and the work done by all Council staff, is what's most important in claiming this prize," he said.

Tweed Shire Council General Manager Mike Rayner said "The award was fantastic news for the organisation.

Peer recognition is the ultimate accolade and this is the highest award a NSW council can win."

Similarly, it follows three prestigious RH Dougherty Awards in the past 15 months, for excellence in communication," he said.