Local councils across NSW have been recognised for demonstrating accountability to their local communities. The Morpheum RH Dougherty Awards were presented at the Local Government Week Awards, held earlier this week in Parramatta. The aim of the awards is to promote excellence in communication within local government.
The Excellence in Communication award was shared across four categories according to the population size of each municipality. Taking out the Division A award for councils with less than 30,000 residents was Goulburn Mulwaree Council. Judges labelled its Community Outreach project an impressive, innovative and far-reaching initiative displaying "tangible results".
Waverley Council and Lane Cove Council were announced joint winners within Division B, competing against councils with populations of 30,000 to 100,000.
Commenting on Waverley Council’s community safety campaign, ‘My Bondi Summer 2007’, the judges said: "This campaign comprehensively and effectively tackles a very big task and does so in a cost-neutral manner – an example for all cash-strapped councils".
Lane Cove Council was recognised for its communication approach to Housing Growth LEP. According to the judges, it was "truly outstanding achievement for a small council".
"The Council set about explaining a very complex process and document in simple terms to its constituents. This process changed the attitude of many residents from selfish, knee-jerk opposition to a more altruistic, community view," the judges said.
"Planning is the hot issue of the day and this was a rare exercise in commonsense overcoming self-interest."
In Division C (population exceeding 100,000), Randwick City Council was awarded for its council open days. Supported by council staff, the project enhanced council’s image and promoted environmental messages, the judges said.
MidCoast Water was the winner in Division D (ROCs and county councils). Judges said its school education program demonstrated "excellent use of budget" and built upon its reputation as a "responsible leader in water conservation".
Councils were also awarded for excellence in reporting to their communities. This year’s Division A winner was Griffith City Council. Its Annual Community Report 2006-2007 and Community News Pages were cost effective, featured "good design and thematic unity" and developed a "great relationship" between council and local media.
In Division B, Holroyd City Council was awarded for its Library and Community Services Department Calendar 2008 and in Division C, Baulkham Hills Shire Council received first place for its Hills 2026 publication and community consultation process.
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