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Regional Councils Sweep Up at Local Government Week Awards

Regional councils have swept the field at a series of special awards handed out to mark Local Government Week 2017, which runs from 31 July to August 6.
 
Regional councils took out several of the RH Dougherty Awards handed out by Local Government NSW (LGNSW) in Sydney last night to encourage and recognise best-practice communication by councils to their local communities.
 
Winners included Upper Lachlan Shire Council, Cessnock City Council, Tweed Shire Council, Parkes Shire Council, and Wagga Wagga City Council.
 
A series of councils were also Highly Commended by the judges, including Bland Shire Council and Tamworth Regional Council.
 
“This year’s Local Government Week theme – Discovery, Diversity, Democracy- reflects the incredible breadth of activities undertaken by councils,” LGNSW President Keith Rhoades said.
 
“Councillors are not only the democratically-elected representatives of their local communities, but individuals working within a board-like structure to help govern multi-million-dollar businesses.
 
“Local Government employs almost 50,000 staff across the state, and has an annual spend of $10 billion – as a sector we’re active almost every sphere of daily life.
 
“That’s why councils need the type of top-quality, two-way communication with their community that we’ve seen recognised this week.”
 
Cr Rhoades paid particular tribute to Leeton Shire Council’s Brent Lawrence, who took out the Outstanding Individual Contribution Award for his community engagement role, which has included the establishment of communications tools and channels to deliver accessible, two-way communication between the community and council staff.
 
Categories included in LGNSW’s RH Dougherty Awards included Excellence in Communication, Reporting to the Community, and Innovation in Special Events.
 
The awards are named after former Local Government Association President Robert (Bob) Dougherty, who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to best practice communication between councils and ratepayers throughout a 20-year career in the sector.
 
Also awarded at the Sydney ceremony were the inaugural LGNSW Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award, with population categories won by Griffith City Council and Wagga Wagga City Council. Regional councils were also winners in the NSW Disability Inclusion Award (Cobar Shire Council, Wollondilly Shire Council), Heart Foundation Local Government Awards (Kiama Municipal Council) and Youth Week Local Government Awards (Shoalhaven City Council, Walgett Shire Council, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, and Dubbo Regional Council.)
 
Regional Arts NSW extends congratulations to all the regional council winners.
 
To read the full list of Local Government Week Award Winners for 2017, click here.