Brisbane Metro takes out gong at local government awards

The Brisbane Metro has taken out a prize at a statewide awards ceremony recognising excellence in local government.

Digby Whyte from Balonne Shire Council receives the Sustainability Award on May 24, 2024 (image: LGMA)

Queensland council initiatives ranging from the Brisbane City’s plan for a bus rapid transit system to a wild dog fencing project were recognised at the Local Government Managers Awards, announced in Brisbane on May 24.

The awards recognise outstanding work by councils across the state across innovation, community, sustainability, workplace well  being and resourcefulness.

President Andrew Chesterman said all nominations demonstrated innovation, collaboration and initiatives that enhance communities and workplaces.

“Once again, these awards showcase the immense capability and innovative thinking that permeate our sector,” he said.

Connecting people and places

The first stage is underway, with services scheduled to start later this year.

The project was awarded the innovation award for connecting people and places by investing in the city’s  bus network to deliver a new fleet of EVs, major infrastructure works, station upgrades and network enhancements, as well as encouraging active transport by upgrading bike lanes and footpaths.

“Through holistic design, state-of-the-art technology and innovative construction methods, Brisbane Metro will provide an accessible and safe public transport experience for the community,” the awards magazine says.

Who let the dogs in? Not Balonne

Meanwhile, Balonne Shire in the state’s south west, took out the sustainability category for its wild dog fencing project.

Council has been delivering this Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing Program since 2019, which has seen some 1,700 km of fencing constructed across 695,500 hectares and 87 properties, and more than 66 per cent of the Shire now fenced.

The Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing Program will deliver a $100 million increase in agricultural income and around 230 extra jobs in the Shire, Mayor Samantha O’Toole says.

This project has also led to more on-farm diversification, which has also generated an additional $42 million in investment in plant and equipment, yards and sheds, internal fences and water improvements on local farms, she said.

“We are now seeing the obvious benefits of reduced stock losses and improved stock reproductive rates, along with a range of other benefits from farmers regaining control of their properties and being prepared to invest and diversify,” said Mayor O’Toole. 

“For our small Shire to see an increase of around 230 jobs from one program is a great outcome for locals and landholders alike.”

Sustainability – Balonne Shire Council – Wild Dog Exclusion Fence Program

Workplace Wellbeing – Gladstone Regional Council – Our Culture Journey

Collaboration – Land for Wildlife South East Queensland – Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Toowoomba Councils

Resourcefulness – Norfolk Island Regional Council – Waste Management Program

Teamwork – Western Downs Regional Council – Disaster Response and Recovery

Community Shaping – Gladstone Regional Council – First Nations Fire Officer

Innovation – Brisbane City Council – Brisbane Metro, a new era of connected travel

Above and Beyond – Stephen Dry

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