Planners win national gong – East Gippsland

East Gippsland Shire Council and Brimbank City Council have won a national award for their unique planning partnership.

The resource-sharing partnership was joint winner of the ‘Improving Planning Processes Award’ at the Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence in Hobart last week.

East Gippsland Shire CEO Anthony Basford said the arrangement had a number of benefits for both councils, including the issuing of over 300 planning permits in East Gippsland.

“With 79 local government areas in Victoria, there is a wealth of knowledge and experiences that can be shared amongst the sector for the benefit of all our communities,” Mr Basford said.

“Our partnership with Brimbank City Council allows planning resources to be shared between both councils. It also builds staff knowledge and expertise – our Planning team has benefitted from the experience of Brimbank staff, while the Brimbank team has been exposed to planning issues they would never have seen in their municipality.

“This arrangement began after the 2019-20 bushfires and demonstrates the creativity and agility of councils in dealing with difficult times. We were pleased to be able to set up a 12-month arrangement with Brimbank – which has since been extended by 12 months. I pass on my thanks to Helen Morrissey (former Brimbank CEO) for her support and look forward to the partnership continuing to deliver positive outcomes,” Mr Basford said.

“It is fantastic to see this arrangement recognised at a national level by the peak body for Australia’s planning industry. Planners have a challenging role which is sometimes underappreciated; they were rapt to receive this award.”

At the Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence, Brimbank City Council planners Susan Fitton and Eunice Wong celebrated with (on mobile) East Gippsland Shire’s Statutory Planning Coordinator Robert Pringle and daughter Hannah.

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