Singleton Takes Out Prestigious Bluett Award
BY DI SNEDDON
Singleton Council has been awarded the prestigious AR Bluett Memorial Award for outstanding achievement in local government.
Mayor Sue Moore said the award should generate confidence among the community that Council is on the right track.
The award was presented as part of the Local Government NSW Conference on Sunday afternoon.
Singleton Council took out the award’s regional/rural category, while Inner West Council was crowned the metropolitan winner.
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.
Albert Bluett was highly respected by the legal profession and State Government of the day and was instrumental in writing the Local Government Act of 1919.
The AR Bluett Awards are judged by the three honorary Trustees – Les McMahon (Trustee Chairman), Genia McCaffery and Paul Braybrooks OAM who were in Singleton about a month ago for a face-to-face interview with Council representatives and community at the Visitor Information Centre.
At the time, Singleton was aware it was one of two finalists in the running to receive the accolade.
Mr McMahon said the panel was impressed by Singleton Council’s support in investing in new emerging pathways for a coal mining community which is in transition.
“We were enthused by their aligned partnership with Business Singleton, producing a close working relationship with the many small business, and in particular business and employment support programs,” Mr McMahon said.
“Their financial position is also very sound and has endeavoured to maximise voluntary planning agreements and unused road sales to provide $30 million in reserves for future capital works.”
Cr Moore said the Singleton contingent were quietly confident the interview had been well received and obviously thrilled to be awarded.
Singleton Council’s General Manager Jason Linnane said the award was the “pinnacle of local government achievement” and was due recognition for the industry-leading projects, services, and hard work by the staff and elected officials at Singleton Council.
“Winning this award is an absolute honour – the AR Bluett Award is the most esteemed and significant award in our industry, and to take out number one in the rural/regional category is simply incredible,” he said.
“As a small regional Council, it’s absolute proof that we really do punch above our weight, and most importantly deliver fantastic outcomes for the people that call Singleton home.”
Singleton last won the award in 1977.