Canterbury-Bankstown City Council and Blayney Shire Council have been recognised as the most progressive councils in NSW at the Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Special Conference.
The two councils received the AR Bluett Memorial Award, the state’s oldest and most prestigious local government award.
Canterbury-Bankstown City Council was crowned as the 2021 Metropolitan winner, while Blayney Shire Council took out the Rural category.
LGNSW President Darriea Turley commended the two councils on their remarkable achievements.
“The awards recognise excellence and relative progress by councils – which is something that all councils should strive towards,” Cr Turley said.
“On behalf of LGNSW, I congratulate the councils, general managers, council staff and their communities on receiving this great accolade.”
The AR Bluett Memorial Award has been awarded annually since 1945 in commemoration of Albert Robert Bluett, who served as the Secretary and Solicitor to the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW for 30 years.
Well respected by the legal profession and Ministers of the crown, Mr Bluett was instrumental in writing the Local Government Act of 1919.
AR Bluett Awards Trustee Chairman Les McMahon said the Trust received 14 council applications for the 2021 awards.
Mr McMahon said Canterbury-Bankstown City Council played a monumental part in helping its community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Canterbury-Bankstown City Council is a remarkable council with its motto, ‘a council working hard and smart’, delivering innovative programs whilst its community withstood high bouts of both Delta and Omicron COVID,” Mr McMahon said.
“The delivery of programs focusing on closing the loop in waste management, healthy minds and bodies, encouraging female leaders in the community and undertaking the largest citizenship ceremony in Australia were but a few of the outstanding programs delivered by this innovative council.”
Mr McMahon said that despite it being one of the smaller councils in the state, Blayney Shire Council’s staff helped make outstanding contributions to its community.
“Blayney Shire Council – a small council promoting community partnerships and delivering promised programs on infrastructure in such turbulent times.
“Blayney is small in population and expenditure and has delivered promised programs through partnerships with private enterprise and community because of the effective leadership from council and staff.”
Cr Turley recognised the high standard of entries and commended each council for their submission.
“The trustees of the AR Bluett Awards always have a challenging task of choosing winners for each category with the high-quality of entries that are received.
“Councils have been leading their communities out of the COVID-19 pandemic and are driving a locally-led recovery.
“The contributions made by staff and elected representatives of council help their community to thrive, and I think our communities are the true winners in the end.”