September 8 - 14, 2013: Issue 127


Pittwater Staff and Councillors host AR Bluett Award Judges.


Pittwater Council is one of the finalists in the most prestigious award for NSW local government - the AR Bluett Memorial Award.

Each year the Bluett Award recognises the NSW council that has made the most progress in its operations during the relevant financial year. The Award is in two divisions – metropolitan and country. Pittwater has previously won the award in 2003.

Around 4-5 councils compete in each division for the final award through a visit by the judging panel to their council area. The three judges visited Pittwater this week.

The AR Bluett Memorial Award is named after a leading figure in local government during the early part of the 20th century. Following his death in 1944 NSW councils decided to fund a permanent memorial to his work through the AR Bluett Memorial Award.

The Award is hotly contested each year by NSW councils and is widely considered to be the most prestigious award in local government in the state. The winners of the metropolitan award and the country award will be announced in early October.

Mayor Jacqui Townsend said the Council was honoured to be shortlisted for the award.

“This is an award that has no equal in NSW local government and even to make the finals is considered very prestigious,” she said.

Mayor Townsend said she believed the Council’s consultative approach and innovative problem-solving had counted in Pittwater’s favour.

“Many of the projects we included in our award submission highlight the fact that we work well with our community and other stakeholders to achieve results.”

Mayor Townsend singled out the new sportsfields at North Narrabeen High School, the Enliven Pittwater project to renew Pittwater’s business centres and the partnership with the state government on planning for the future of Warriewood Valley and Ingleside as examples.

She said the judging panel would deliberate over the next two weeks before announcing the winners at the LGNSW conference between 1-3 October.

Visit to read Pittwater’s AR Bluett Memorial Award submission. (PDF 850kb)


Who was Albert Robert Bluett?

Mr 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 two winning councils that have achieved the greatest relative progress each year.


First Local Government NSW Annual Conference – October 2013

The first Local Government NSW (LGNSW) Annual Conference will take place on 1-3 October 2013 at the Sydney Town Hall. The Conference is a historic event marking the final step in unifying the former Local Government Association of NSW and Shires Association of NSW to form One Association representing all councils across NSW.

This Conference provides NSW mayors and councillors the opportunity to come together to discuss significant issues impacting the Local Government sector and the communities they serve. 

There are a number of issues currently facing the Local Government sector in NSW, including reforms proposed by the Independent Local Government Review Panel, proposed changes to the Planning System, and the financial sustainability of Local Government.

To ensure mayors and councillors are able to debate these important topics, LGNSW has identified five strategic themes that will be the focus of the 2013 LGNSW Annual Conference. These themes have been determined based on input from member councils and are:

•    Local Government Review. 
•    Local Government Financial Sustainability. 
•    Waste. 
•    The New Planning System. 
•    Local and State Government Relations. 

The conference business paper provides an overview of these themes and is now available online - to view, visit the LGNSW website. (PDF 950kb)

Speakers at the event include Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of New South Wales, who will open the Conference and the Hon. Barry O'Farrell MP, Premier of NSW. 

Key figures from the NSW Government and the Opposition will also address various sessions, including the Hon. Don Page MP, Minister for Local Government; the Hon. Brad Hazard MP, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure; and Mr John Robertson MP, Leader of the Opposition.