Winners of the NSW Local Government Excellence Awards for 2021 have been announced at an award dinner held in Sydney on 3 June, which celebrated the best of local government achievement across the state.

The NSW Local Government Excellence Awards celebrate outstanding achievements while promoting innovation and continuous improvement within NSW local government. Awards categories spanned across various local government responsibilities, including asset management, infrastructure, disaster management, community partnership and development and more. 

Winners included projects like Shoalhaven City Council’s Bushfire Recovery Action Plan; the City of Newcastle’s COVID-19 Community and Economic Resilience Package, as well as one for its Community and Civic Hub; and MidCoast Council who won for its Yalawanyi Ganya Office Centralisation Project.

City of Newcastle Lord Mayor, Nuatali Nelmes, said the two awards his council received were a testament to the City’s leadership and the staff’s commitment to serve and support the local community.

“The awards are an outstanding achievement and recognise City of Newcastle’s innovation and culture of continuous improvement,” Mayor Nelmes said.

“City of Newcastle is leading the way with its digital transformation and ability to provide support to the community.”

The full list of winners is as follows:


Asset Management and Infrastructure

Projects over $1.5 million – Population over 100,000

Winner: City of Newcastle | Civic and Community Hub – Customer Service, Digital Library, and Council Chamber

Highly Commended: Northern Beaches Council | Narrabeen Lagoon Boardwalk

Projects over $1.5 million – Population under 100,000

Winner: Narrandera Shire Council | Lake Talbot Water Park

Projects under $1.5 million – Population under 100,000

Winner: Griffith City Council | Village Pathways

Highly Commended: Lake Macquarie City Council | The Bernie Goodwin Memorial Reserve Project Team


Community Development

Winner: Northern Beaches Council | Housing and Homelessness Project

Highly Commended: Burwood Council | Burwood Cares – Four Phase Community Recovery and Resilience Program


Community Partnerships

Population over 100,000

Winner: Wollongong City Council | Carve a New Trail 

Highly Commended: Penrith City Council | Village Café – Pop-Up Vaccination Clinics

Highly Commended: Blacktown City Council | Car Seat Program

Population under 100,000

Winner: Maitland City Council | Maitland Food Assistance Network

Highly Commended: Bellingen Shire Council  | Local and Vocal – Pandemic Response Group


Connected Communities & Regions

Winner: Penrith City Council | Thursday Night Live Lockdown Series


Customer Experience

Winner: Northern Beaches Council | Library2U Northern Beaches Council Library

Highly Commended: Dubbo Regional Council | The Digitalisation of Customer Experience Touch Points 


Disaster Recovery/Emergency Response Management

Population over 100,000

Winner: Shoalhaven City Council | Shoalhaven (Currowan) Bushfire Recovery Action Plan

Highly Commended: Northern Beaches Council | Manly Beach Wave Overtopping Early Warning System and Response

Population under 100,000

Winner: Bega Valley Shire Council | Disaster Resilience, Response and Recovery

Highly Commended: MidCoast Council | 2019-20 Drought Response Project

Highly Commended: Clarence Valley Council  | Strengthening Disaster Resilience in Malabugilmah & Baryulgil Discrete Aboriginal Communities and Implementing Risk Mitigation Infrastructure 


Environmental Leadership

Winner: Randwick City Council | Maroubra Stormwater Harvesting and Outdoor Living Classroom

Highly Commended: Singleton Council | Sustainable Future Singleton

Highly Commended: Georges River Council | Gannons Park Water Quality Improvement and Stormwater Harvesting Scheme


Innovative Leadership

Winner: City of Sydney | Innovation Methodology – Today in Your Village 

Highly Commended: Southern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils | Procure Recycled: Paving the Way 


Organisational Change

Winner: City of Canterbury Bankstown | Respond. Recover. Thrive. 


People, Workplace, Wellbeing

Winner: Georges River Council | BENE-FIT 360

Highly Commended: Bega Valley Shire Council | Recovery, Resilience and Leadership Program


Special Project Initiative

Population over 100,000

Winner: City of Newcastle | COVID-19 Community & Economic Resilience Package

Highly Commended: Georges River Council | THRIVE!

Population under 100,000

Winner: MidCoast Council | Yalawanyi Ganya Office Centralisation Program Team

Highly Commended: Port Stephens Council | Revamping Rezoning 

Highly Commended: Burwood Council | Print and Post Partnership


Supporting Local Enterprise 

Winner: Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council | Treasure Trail Campaign for Economic Recovery

Highly Commended: Mid-Western Regional Council | Mudgee Region Business and Jobs


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