2013 National Awards for Local Government
The National Awards for Local Government (NALG) recognise, reward and promote the innovative work of local governments across Australia. This year, achievement was recognised through ten category awards, with the winners of the National Award for Excellence and National Award for Excellence (small council) selected from the category winners.
The category awards are sponsored by various Australian Government departments. The Department of Infrastructure and Transport sponsored awards in the Innovative Infrastructure Development and Excellence in Road Safety categories, with the winners in both these categories going on to receive national awards.
The national awards were presented at the Australian Council of Local Government dinner on 16 June 2013 in Canberra.
The National Award for Excellence, as well as the Excellence in Road Safety category award, was awarded to Dungog Shire, Maitland City and Port Stephens Councils for their joint project “Safer Motorcycle Routes”.
The project addressed the high incidence of motorcycle crashes experienced across three local government areas and sought to deliver infrastructure design solutions for the region's most popular and hazardous recreational riding routes. The project featured the collaborative involvement of council road safety officers and engineers with officers from the state road authority, police and, most importantly, motorcycle riders. This multi-disciplinary team carried out an audit of the targeted routes with a view to understanding all of the factors impacting on the crash problem. A key innovation was the use of helmet–mounted cameras (“helmet cams”) to capture video footage of the roads from the rider's perspective.
By bringing a Safe System approach to the issue, the project led to a range of countermeasures including: planned infrastructure upgrades; provision of sealed enforcement bays to support police enforcement efforts; installation of high visibility, motorcycle specific, gateway warning signs on each of the routes; motorcycle specific signage at hazardous locations; and installation of roadside message boards to support safety education campaigns.
The 2013 winner of the National Award for Excellence (small council), as well as the Innovative Infrastructure Development category award, is Northern Grampians Shire Council for their project “Monash Steps/Stawell Steps”.
The project involved construction of a flood mitigation facility that protects the community and all of its associated residential and commercial activities against the impact of dangerous and unusual flood events whilst simultaneously creating an exceptionally useful public facility that allows for both active and passive recreation. The project demonstrates a multi–functional design which, in addition to its flood management role, creates a valuable community space from critical infrastructure, normally designed for its function rather than aesthetic appeal.
The Maroondah City Council received a commendation in the Innovative Infrastructure Development Award category for their project “Marveloo”.
“Marveloo” provides a mobile bathroom facility that meets the needs of diverse disabled community groups. Whilst portable disabled toilets are readily available from hire services, this product meets the needs of broader disabled groups currently not being satisfied.
Brisbane City Council received a commendation in the Excellence in Road Safety category forits well-established and highly-regarded “Active School Travel” program. The program encourages active school travel and less private vehicle use, in order to reduce congestion around schools and improve road safety. The program is primarily an education initiative but incorporates explicit links with enforcement and engineering measures to improve safety.
Rockhampton Regional Council also received a commendation in the Excellence in Road Safety category, for its “Road Safety Strategy 2012–2022”. This strategy is a model of good practice, being ambitious, soundly based on Safe System principles, and formalising partnership arrangements among key delivery organisations.
Further information on the National Awards for Local Government is available from the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, who are responsible for the award program.