Bega Valley Shire up for five national awards

Infrastructure and Services Manager, Gemma Gill

28 March 2023

Bega Valley Shire Council has entered five projects into the National Awards for Local Government this year.

CEO Anthony McMahon said the nominated projects are predominantly grant-funded and will deliver great benefits to the local community.

“We are particularly proud to be able to nominate five projects for national recognition, to demonstrate the great work carried out by our dedicated team of professionals across a range of categories,” Mr McMahon said.

Disaster Recovery – Improving future resilience for the community was submitted under the Women in Local Government category.

Council’s Infrastructure and Services Manager, Gemma Gill leads a team that manages the response and recovery works relating to natural disaster-impacted infrastructure across the shire. She has worked closely with NSW Government agencies to ensure the rebuilding of the region’s road network, bridges, community buildings and tourist attractions are restored for future use.

The Youth Speak project was submitted under the Cohesive Communities category.

Youth Speak engaged with more than 120 young people aged 12 to 24 years across the shire who identified particular issues and barriers for them to work through and create positive solutions. Some of the ideas have been turned into youth-led projects to help make the Bega Valley a better place for young people to live, such as Late Night Libraries youth nights, the Youth App project, skate competitions, skate bus tours, mental health trivia nights, small youth festivals, game development days and dance workshops.

Merimbula Airport, the Gateway to the Sapphire Coast was submitted under Productivity through Infrastructure category.

Council has completed more than $25 million in infrastructure investment at Merimbula Airport, with a terminal expansion, extension and strengthening of the existing runway and the creation of a general aviation precinct. This ensures the airport is functional, welcoming, efficient and responsive to the region’s future air transport needs and fulfils its role in supporting the region’s essential service provision and economic sustainability.

The Brogo Water Treatment Plant was submitted under the Disaster Preparedness category.

The Black Summer bushfires damaged critical water infrastructure supplying water to 3,500 people, including the chlorinator, electrics and telecommunications. Road access to the site was dangerous and with 80% of the catchment charred, rains washed ash and soil into the Brogo Dam and downstream to the river offtake. The Brogo Water Treatment Plant design, which was already in planning phase, was refocused to ensure greater resilience. A number of significant changes have been made to the plant over the last three years to reinforce the resilience of the water supply system.

The Canberra Regional Joint Organisation Community Strategic Plan was submitted under Regional Growth category.

The Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CRJO), comprising 10 councils and the ACT, established a working group to develop a Community Strategic Plan to improve regional collaboration and understand the broader priorities of the region. The plan has provided several efficiency savings for participating councils, including centralised and streamlined procurement and contract management, financial and resource savings and a collaborative approach to the development of a Community Engagement Strategy.

Voting for the National Awards for Local Government is open to the public until 11:59pm on April 14. Individuals can place one vote per category.

The winner of each category will be the eligible initiative which receives the most votes during the voting period. Honourable mentions may also be awarded in some or all categories.

Click the link below to vote for your favourite:

Disaster Recovery – Improving future resilience for the community:

Youth Speak:

Merimbula Airport the Gateway to the Sapphire Coast:

Brogo Water Treatment Plant:

Canberra Regional Joint Organisation Community Strategic Plan:

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