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Representatives from councils celebrated their success with over 230 Queensland local government officers from across the state at the LGMA Queensland Awards for Excellence Gala Dinner at Shangri La Gardens Brisbane, for our ninth year celebrating the achievements of the people and organisations that are local government in Queensland.

Congratulations to all nominees and special congratulations to the category winners, well done and well deserved!

The quality of applications in the various categories highlights the dedication and innovation shown by council staff and teams working in the sector.



The 2019 Sustainability Award was won by Logan City Council for their project Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan.
Logan City Council’s Carbon Reduction Strategy and Action Plan aims to make the council carbon neutral by 2022.  The plan utilises a range of innovations such as solar panels and battery storage, LED lighting, solar powered LEDs and efficient air-conditioning plant; powering facilities from streets to reservoirs and from sporting fields to community buildings.  The activity is supported by an energy management framework and monitoring dashboard which will allow Council to track progress and better meets its ambitious goal.
Two other councils were finalists for the Sustainability Award:  Mackay Regional Council who submitted their Apprentice and Trainee Scheme and Tablelands Regional Council for its Community Revegetation Nursery initiative.

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Winner of the Innovation Award 2019 - the Sunshine Coast Council for their project Making Governance Innovative. 
Innovation and governance are terms which are not usually put together.  But when Sunshine Coast Council sought options to streamline governance, the Making Governance Innovative project was born.  It has led to simplified delegations, an integrated delegations’ database, assurance of currency, upskilling and provides confidence to the CEO in further delegations.  Benefits have been better evidentiary trails, assisting complaints management and improved consistency and compliance.

Three other finalists recognised in this category were Boulia Shire Council for their 3D Zebra Crossings, Brisbane City Council for Invasive Species Management and Sunshine Coast Council for Development.i.

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The winner of the 2019 'Doing More with Less' Award is Quilpie Shire Council for their NDIS Community Assistance Scheme project. 

he introduction of NDIS has not been an easy one in every community and for Quilpie Shire it became evident that residents were struggling to maintain the services necessary to ensure quality of life.  With limited access to support, council took up the challenge, employing a coordinator to assist residents in navigating the complex requirements.  While a short-term impost, council has identified that the support provided has reduced demands on council in other areas and had a net community benefit. 

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The 2019 Teamwork Award winner is Tableland Regional Council for their project: Treatment Operations Team. 

Managing 320km of reticulation pipework, the Treatment Operations Team at Tablelands Regional Council has a large job to do in maintaining service to a community regularly hit by wild weather.  Operating in a high-risk environment and with clear challenges to water quality, the team has undertaken an extensive project to secure water supply to required standards and deliver for the community. The small team has demonstrated trust, resilience and commitment in managing the 30% increase in workload and increased community pressure.  The team has demonstrated the importance of an inclusive and supportive culture in delivering solid results.

Judges also recognised three other finalists in this category: City of Ipswich – Beautiful Ipswich, and Redland City Council for Local Disaster Coordination Centre and Bushfire Response Team.


Noosa Council is the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Collaboration Award with their project: Collaboration for Koalas.

The outlook for SEQ’s Koala populatio
n is pretty bleak and Noosa Council has decided to do what it can to address this.  Bringing together 6 diverse agendas including state government, a large harvesting company, a community environmental organisation, residents and council, a new regional National Park has been created, restoring land from plantation timber, protecting 23 endangered species and creating a new model for funding of environmental protection and restoration.  A long-term focus and genuine openness to collaboration were key elements of Noosa Council’s Collaboration for Koalas success.

The Judges also recognised the following Councils as finalists in this category (in alphabetic order): Central Highlands Regional Council – The Game Plan,
Logan City Council – Building Social Capital Hubs, South Burnett Regional Council – Collaboration for Events and Western Downs Regional Council – Coordinated Pest Management and Monitoring.

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Logan City Council are the winners of the 2019 Excellence in Community Shaping Award for their engaging and collaborative initiative Speaking their language – building disaster resilience.

One of the most diverse local governments in in Australia, Logan has more than 17,000 residents needing help due to a disability, 27% of the population born overseas, 15% speaking a language other than English at home and almost 9,000 people who report issues speaking English.  In this environment, traditional communication will not hit the mark across the community – especially when providing critical information about disaster preparedness.  Speaking their language is a comprehensive programme developed rolled out by Logan City Council through schools and the community including in multiple languages and braille to ensure all are informed about how to respond to disasters and where to get help. 

Also recognised in this category were finalists Fraser Coast Regional Council – Community Builders Program and Southern Downs Regional Council – Shaping Southern Downs.

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This year, Mackay Regional Council are the winners of the Excellence in Workplace Wellbeing Award with their  initiative MRC Workplace Wellbeing.

With strong performance in securing employee safety through a traditional workplace health and safety focus, Mackay City Council recognised a need to do more in the emerging areas of financial, social, mental and physical health.  Creating a dedicated strategy, the project has allowed employees to engage with the elements relevant to them, including initiatives such as free physical health checks, flu vaccinations, domestic violence support, mental health support and mental health first aid training.  The success to date has led to increased support and financial health initiatives will be next in line to be delivered.  Also recognised in this category as a finalist is Western Downs Regional Council for the WorkVibe initiative.

Proudly supported by Queensland Health, Queensland Government


This year, the winner of this award is Nicholas Sabatino, Manager of Utilities at Torres Shire Council, for his efforts in introducing water filtration into the shire. 

Torres Shire Council is proud and grateful for his efforts and were delighted to nominate him for this award.

Issues with water quality during 2018 were impacting dialysis treatment at the regional hospital and requiring council to issue boiled water alerts.  Unable to resolve the problem locally, Nicky flew to Adelaide to inspect and then commission a water treatment system made possible with Queensland Government funding.  He then worked tirelessly to ensure that temporary plant was installed and kept operational. Nicky had to jump in a small boat, often in the middle of the night, and travel across the choppy Torres Strait to get to the plant where he would have to troubleshoot and fix without the benefit of a phone a friend or access to other support.  He gave up Christmas with his family to work on the commissioning of the new plant – all because he wanted to ensure that his community had the luxury many of us take for granted of clean, stable drinking water supply.

Congratulations to Nicholas for going Above and Beyond for his Council and community

2019 Australasian Management Challenge

An integral part of the Awards for Excellence each year is the highly anticipated announcement of the Queensland winner and finalists for the Australasian Management Challenge.  A highly contested annual event that invokes teamwork and competition, councils complete a range of tasks under tight deadlines while exhibiting creativity, productivity and skill development whilst expanding teams’ capabilities.  This program builds an understanding of relevant issues facing local governments through practical, experiential learning in a ‘safe’ environment.

Everyone who participates in the Challenge – from experienced managers to emerging leaders, comes away with new and practical insights into excellence in leadership and management.  This year the Challenge included 17 teams and was hosted at the Queensland Law Society in Brisbane across two days.  The Challenge featured tasks such as report writing, project management plans and report writing.

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The winning team for the 2019 Australasian Management Challenge is Cairns Regional Council - 100% Humidity

Second place was award to Brisbane City Council's - Hydra

Third place went to Brisbane City Council's
- Tipping Point


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