For the first time in 30 years, Parkes Shire Council has been named the winner of the 2016 AR Bluett Memorial Award at the NSW Local Government Annual Conference.
Parkes Shire Council – having last taken out the award in 1986 – was presented the prestigious award on Tuesday, October 18 in Wollongong.
The Bluett Award recognises the most progressive rural council in the state, based on all council operations and services.
Parkes Shire’s mayor, Cr Ken Keith, said this is a tremendous achievement for the entire organisation.
“The AR Bluett Memorial Award is the greatest accolade a council can achieve, as it is recognition from our peers that council is achieving excellence in delivering progress and value to our community,” he said.
“Our goal is to deliver innovative and sustainable projects to our community, and the Bluett award is testament to our council’s dedication to this task. Council will continue to strive to do better each and every year.
“The challenge ahead of us is the perilous state of our road network following the wettest season on record, and we will take decisive action to ensure they are functional for harvest.
“Under the superb leadership of our general manager Kent Boyd, Parkes Shire Council has been able to deliver innovative and sustainable projects for the benefit of our community.”
In the last financial year, Parkes Shire Council has successfully delivered a number of major community projects, including the Lake Endeavour upgrade, Parkes Regional Airport redevelopment, new waste service facilities, and the construction of a second synthetic hockey pitch.
There has also been a number of upgrades to sporting and recreational facilities across the shire.
And council has committed to a long term CBD Main Street Vibrancy Strategy and began work on the new water treatment and sewerage treatment plants.
“While 2015/16 was one of the most progressive years for Parkes Shire Council, our achievements haven't happened overnight,” general manager Kent Boyd said.
“We've had to make some hard decisions in recent years, and we thank the community for trusting council to deliver these projects and programs.”
“The benefits of the Special Rate Variation, introduced in 2013, were realised this year with council recognised as a sustainable, progressive regional council, achieving Fit for the Future status.
“I commend the whole council team for their efforts in making the Parkes Shire a wonderful place to live, work and visit.”