Sydney’s Northern Beaches Council has won the state’s top local government achievement prize – the AR Bluett Memorial Award.
The AR Bluett Memorial Award, which was established in 1945, is awarded by Local Government NSW and recognises the most progressive metropolitan and rural council in the state.
Northern Beaches Mayor, Michael Regan welcomed the accolade and praised his fellow Councillors, CEO and all Council staff for their commitment to providing the highest quality service to the Northern Beaches community.
“Winning the AR Bluett is an incredible honour and I am thrilled Northern Beaches has been recognised,” Mayor Regan said.
“Since amalgamation we have had a huge focus on repairing and renewing ailing infrastructure, delivering long term financial stability and putting the community at the centre of everything we do.
“It hasn’t been easy but this award recognises the hard work and dedication of both the elected Council and our incredible staff to deliver great outcomes for our community.”
Mayor Regan said that 2021/22 was a challenging year for the Council, with the pandemic continuing to take its toll as well as devastating rainstorms which lead to the Northern Beaches twice being declared a natural disaster zone.
“We worked with our community to get through the worst of it, conducting door-to-door welfare checks, facilitating hundreds of additional waste collections and supporting our local businesses in recovery,” he said.
“For the long term we endorsed a comprehensive Resilience Strategy to create better community connections, strengthen our economy and enhance environmental protection so as a Council and community we weather any future disruptions.
“We took every opportunity to reconnect our community and boost our economy through award winning events. Our Sun Run was the first mass participation event in NSW after COVID restrictions lifted, we reshaped Taste of the Beaches and we pulled off a massive new event, PLAY MANLY, rewarding Manly CBD with a 9% uplift in visitor spending during the festival.
“And we still delivered a solid $76 million capital works program despite the disruptions, including completing the Mona Vale Surf Club – an incredible and roundly welcomed new community asset.
“Our focus on resilience and sustainability lead to the rehabilitation of Careel Creek, installation of over 2000sqm of sustainable concrete, support for solar on schools and a diversion of more waste from landfill – up from 49% of domestic waste in 2018/19 to 66% in 2021/22.
“Our continued focus on the customer saw customer satisfaction score shift from 71% in 2019 to 88% in 2022.
“A huge thank you to all our staff and volunteers, Councillors, the CEO and Directors. And to the many in our community who gave feedback on draft projects, partnered to deliver events or initiatives, sat on our working groups or otherwise engaged with us. You have all contributed to this significant recognition,” the Mayor said.