Port Macquarie-Hastings Council claims prestigious AR Bluett Memorial Award

It's ours: Local Government NSW president Keith Rhoades, Mayor Peta Pinson, general manager Craig Swift-McNair, Graeme Fleming PSM, retiring A R Bluett Trust Award Chairman & Trustee.
It's ours: Local Government NSW president Keith Rhoades, Mayor Peta Pinson, general manager Craig Swift-McNair, Graeme Fleming PSM, retiring A R Bluett Trust Award Chairman & Trustee.

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council is the most progressive council in NSW.

Council was presented the prestigious AR Bluett Memorial Award for 2017 during the annual Local Government NSW Conference.

The Bluett award is acknowledged as the pinnacle of local government achievement and recognises the most progressive council in the state.

Council was listed as a finalist in 2016.

The award takes into account all aspects of council’s operations.

Mayor Peta Pinson said the award is recognition that a council is achieving excellent results in delivering progress and value to the community.

“This prestigious accolade is one that our community should be proud of,” Cr Pinson said.

“Council is committed to continual improvement and as mayor I am pleased to be involved as part of that commitment.”

General manager Craig Swift-McNair said the award is testament to council's dedication to doing better each and every year.

“This achievement did not just happen overnight, it is the culmination of lots of hard work and many decisions taken by council in recent years,” Mr Swift-McNair said.

“It is testament to the dedication of the council staff, mayor and councillors in striving to do better each and every year.”

It is testament to the dedication of the council staff, mayor and councillors in striving to do better each and every year.

Craig Swift-McNair

The award recognises council’s commitment to innovation, strategic planning, continuous improvement and engagement with the community, to understand and deliver on local aspirations and expectations, he said.

Mr Swift-McNair said council’s application showed how we are working with our community to manage and progress as a leading regional city and to ensure that we are a place where people want to live, learn, work, play and invest.

“Council was able to demonstrate significant achievements in financial management, asset management and people management and show how we had progressed from the days of being under administration that ended 2012, to where we are today,” he said.

“Whilst we are very proud to have been awarded the A R Bluett Memorial award, it is important to note that there is still much work to be done as we strive to continue to be a financially sustainable council delivering for our community now and into the future.

“As the general manager I would like to thank all councillors and all staff for their contribution to winning the 2017 A R Bluett Memorial award and I congratulate all of them on a job well done.

“I would also like to thank the many community members and community groups and associations that work with council each and every day to create a vibrant future for our region; we could not be a leading council without the broad support from the community whom we serve.”

About A R Bluett

Albert Robert Bluett was an outstanding figure in Local Government, serving as the secretary and solicitor to the Local Government and Shires Associations of NSW for 30 years.

He was the authority on Local Government law, and his opinion was respected by the legal profession and ministers of the crown. He helped to write the Local Government Act of 1919.

Following Bluett's death in April 1944, the councils of NSW subscribed to a fund as a permanent memorial to his work. This money funds the bronze plaques, awarded to the winning councils each year.