NSW local government recognised for planning excellence

By Staff Writer

The NSW Local Government and Shires Associations, Walsh Consulting and the UTS Centre for Local Government were joint recipients of two accolades at the Planning Institute of Australia’s 2009 NSW Planning Excellence Awards.

The consortium were winners in the Environmental Planning/Conservation category and the overall President’s Award for their Integrating NRM into Local Government Operations guidelines, which outline councils’ roles and responsibilities in implementing NRM policy and legislation.

Judges said the consortium’s entry for the President’s Award stood out for its depth of research, its practicality as a planning tool for councils, its clarity and ease of use and its potential to advance planning practice in the area of integrated planning.

“It not only addresses the integration of Natural Resource Management with other strategic and statutory planning processes, but also the integration of land use planning and management with the broader responsibilities of Councils required by the NSW Government for Integrated Planning and Reporting,” judges said.

“The emphasis on sound research and strategic planning at the local government level is also, coincidentally, one of the Planning Institute of Australia’s current three NSW key policy focus areas.”

Local Government Association president Genia McCaffery said it was “truly a fantastic achievement”.

“Councils across the state play a huge role in maintaining and protecting the natural environment but this can sometimes be difficult with complicated legislation and requirements from all spheres of government,” Cr McCaffery said.

“The Associations and its partners have worked really hard with councils, Catchment Management Authorities and government agencies to develop a set of clear, comprehensive and practical guidelines that make this process a lot easier.

“The Guidelines address the new integrated planning and reporting regime, as well as land use planning requirements in a user-friendly way with real life examples and suggestions.”

Other local government award winners:

  • Mosman Council – Heritage Planning Award and Media Public/Professional Award
  • Randwick City Council – Social and Community Based Planning Award
  • City of Kogarah Council – Planning for Health Urban Environments Commendation

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