An award, which represents the pinnacle of local government achievement, has been officially presented to Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
Trustees officially presented the 2017 AR Bluett Memorial Award to the council at the Glasshouse on March 12.
Chairman of the trust Graeme Fleming said the award was the pinnacle of local government achievement.
The award takes into account all aspects of the council’s operations.
Mr Fleming said to win the award spoke a lot about the councillors, staff and the community.
“It is just as much an award for the community as it is for the council,” he said.
Extensive planning for growth, an improved financial position, community facility upgrades, cultural events and various strategic and cultural plans were among the initiatives that impressed the trustees.
Mayor Peta Pinson said there was certainly no greater achievement for a council than to be recognised so publicly by the industry peers of the local government of NSW.
Cr Pinson congratulated everyone involved on such a wonderful achievement.
She said it was a day to celebrate efforts that had been recognised and rewarded.
Cr Pinson said the job ahead continued under the leadership of the elected councillors, general manager and the many dedicated staff who continuously sought to improve in order to deliver outstanding results for our region.
Former mayor Peter Besseling acknowledged the staff and the post-administration group of councillors.
Mr Besseling said one of the things those councillors spoke about early on was to hopefully be the best regional council in NSW.
“To come out of administration and be able to do that five short years later is a testament to the hard work of all those councillors,” he said.
“They were innovative, they were forward-thinking, fiscally and financially prudent and listened to the community.”
The council’s general manager, Craig Swift-McNair, said there was no doubt that receiving the AR Bluett Award was without question one of the greatest compliments they could have as a council.
“They do say it takes a village to raise a child,” he said.
“Well, it is certainly our experience it takes a community to create a place and that is exactly what this is all about.”
Mr Swift-McNair thanked the councillors and council staff.
The Stephen Ward Scholarship was presented to the council’s Kate Shelton and Mick Jones.
Bland Shire Council was the other AR Bluett Award winning council in 2017.