Council wins top state award

The mayor Cathy Redding accepts the A R Bluett Award from NSW Local Government Association president and City of Sydney deputy Lord Mayor, Cr Linda Scott, with from left, Bluett Trustee Mike Montgomery AM, Narrabri shire general manager Stewart Todd, Bluett Trust chair Les McMahon, and Trustee Allan Ezzy.

Narrabri Shire Council has been named as the top rural council in NSW.

The council was awarded the prestigious A R Bluett Memorial Award presented annually to the rural council which is recognised as the most progressive in the state.

Three Narrabri delegates, the mayor Cathy Redding, deputy mayor Robert Kneale and general manager Stewart Todd, were in the audience at last week’s NSW Local Government Conference in Albury to hear the announcement.

“This is the pinnacle of all local government awards, the greatest accolade a council can receive, competing against councils right across NSW” said the mayor Cathy Redding.

‘It is a recognition that the whole council staff and elected representatives and shire community can be proud of.”

The A R Bluett Memorial Award is contested each year by councils in NSW which would like to be recognised as being the most progressive in the state.

Entry is open to all NSW councils irrespective of size or resources.

Councils are asked to detail their achievements, using statistical information and other evidence of progress and entries are judged independently and objectively by each Trustee, who then meet to deliberate on their findings and select councils who may be short listed for inspection and presentations.

The judging panel for the A R Bluett Award comprises the Bluett Trust chair, Les McMahon, Mike Montgomery AM and Allan Ezzy AM.

“Narrabri was recommended by the Trustees because the council showed sustained progress and innovation by providing infrastructure and service delivery needs of its community through meaningful consultation” the judges said.

“It has set up strategies to eliminate its debt while self funding its infrastructure backlog by internal efficiencies and productivity savings.”

Cr Redding described the achievement as ‘the greatest accolade a council can achieve’ and congratulated councillors and staff.