LGNSW Planning Awards 

The LGNSW Planning Awards recognise both individuals and councils who have acted to improve the culture within their organisation in relation to planning and development services.
 
LGNSW has received 23 award entries, from large and small councils, in the metropolitan area and in country NSW. The variety of innovative projects has been impressive and demonstrates the enthusiasm, commitment and innovation of planning professionals in local government.
 

LGNSW Planning Awards winners

Excellence in Leadership

Division A: Outstanding individual contribution – Metropolitan Council
Andrew Watson
Ku- ring-gai Council
Judges’ comments: Against a backdrop of community opposition, this nominee began in 2008 a thankless task of changing his communities’ opposition to increased density and bringing the Council and community together to find common ground. Though strong leadership and by fostering a collaborative spirit, he has turned his council into a progressive local government that is now at 80% of its housing target of 10,000 dwellings by 2036.

Division B: Outstanding individual contribution – Large Regional Council
Scott Cox
Central Coast Council
Judges’ comments: With the merging of the Wyong and Gosford Council, this nominee drove the changes required without alienating staff. He brought certainty and stability to the process and embraced the opportunity to undertake transformation and improvements to all aspects of the planning business. It is pleasing to see the focus on values & behaviours leading to some real, positive outcomes in efficiency and staff morale.

Division C: Outstanding individual contribution – Rural/Regional Council
Mark Dicker
Blayney Shire Council
Judges’ comments: This nominee has played a key role in supporting best practice planning within Blayney and the wider central west region. He has led a significant number of planning projects including the Blayney Masterplan, Cemetery Mapping program and contaminated lands policy project. His leadership and collaborative style has yielded a positive planning culture and assisted the vision of the region to be reflected in the Central West and Orana Regional Plan.

Culture Change Innovation/Excellence 

Division A: Metropolitan Council
Sutherland Shire Council
E-submissions - The Civil Objection
Judges’ comments: Access to an online publication/register of objections to development applications is a simple but innovative idea that has helped drive a community- wide culture change. It has helped remove the emotion in objections to applications and reduced the handling by council staff. A side benefit is that objections have become less heated and targeted at what the issues truly are. A significant advance on previous practice that benefits customers, staff and confidence in the planning system and gives a lasting and major impact to community attitudes.

Division B: Large Regional Council
Port Stephens Council
Leading a customer centric planning culture - one team at a time
Judges’ comments: this nomination created an integrated approach to tackle culture, with the goal of being recognised by their customers as the best council they ave dealt with.  They asked themselves ‘if this was your business would you run it this way?’ If no, they set about to change the approach and used the ADRI (please explain) cycle.  One important question they asked of staff in the planning process was why they had become planners – ‘to help people’, a much needed cultural change. The result was a strong team culture and staff that are proud of the customer feedback and improved service delivery.

Division C: Rural/Regional Council
Goulburn Mulwaree Council 
Goulburn Mulwaree Employment Land Strategy
Judges’ comments: This rural nominee has adopted a strategy to ensure the availability of employment lands for their region to drive their future economy. The strategy was embraced at all levels of council and created a model for cross team projects and consultation. Another good example of a council-wide, strategic approach and positive management of change, to achieve a series of identified goals for the future of the region.
 

Awards information

The LGNSW Planning Awards recognise both individuals and councils who have demonstrated excellence in planning and development services. The Awards focus on leadership and culture change, innovation and excellence, recognising actions to promote co-operation, participation and the delivery of positive and pragmatic outcomes in the planning and development area. 
 
The Awards are managed by LGNSW and sponsored by the NSW Department of Planning & Environment. 
 
Entries for the LGNSW Planning Awards are now closed. 

Award categories

Councils who are members of LGNSW are eligible to enter each award category. 
Individual applicants must be employed by a council that is a member of LGNSW. 
 
There is no entry fee for the awards. Awards entries will not be accepted after the published deadline, except on private application to LGNSW prior to the date, and only in exceptional circumstances.
 
All material submitted will be retained by LGNSW and may be used for promotional purposes to highlight the awards. The decision of the judging panel is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Please do not include original material as it may not be returned.
 
The 2017 Awards categories are:
 
Excellence in Leadership (Individual)  Culture Change Innovation/Excellence (Team or Council)

Division A:

Outstanding individual contribution - metropolitan (i.e. within Greater Sydney Commission's districts)

Division A:

Metropolitan (i.e. within Greater Sydney Commission's districts)

Division B:

Outstanding individual contribution - Large regional (i.e. population over 30,000, outside Greater Sydney Commission's districts)

Division B:

Large regional (i.e. population over 30,000, outside Greater Sydney Commission's districts)

Division C:

Outstanding individual contribution Rural/regional (i.e. population under 30,000, outside Greater Sydney Commission's districts)

Division C:
 
Rural/regional (i.e. population under 30,000, outside Greater Sydney Commission's districts)
 

Awards Sponsor

Prizes 

Individual winners will receive a voucher for up to $500 each and winning councils will receive vouchers for up to $1,500 per council for planning related training and education. 

Judging criteria 

Excellence in Leadership Judging Criteria – Outstanding individual contribution: (Council Executive Officer, Director or above)
Outline the individual’s contribution by addressing the following criteria: 
  1. Overall objective/project brief
    Describe the change initiative and outline why it was needed. You should include an explanation of how the issue was defined, which stakeholders were consulted in developing the strategy, and what (appropriate and achievable) goals were set.
  2. Methodology/stakeholder engagement
    Outline the methodology/approach used to develop and deliver the change initiative. Include a description of how stakeholders were engaged.
  3. Motivation/leadership – Demonstration of leadership
    What leadership qualities did this individual demonstrate in achieving this change initiative/s?  How did the approach show individual leadership?
  4. Impact
    Describe the impact this individual has had on council’s internal and external stakeholders working in planning and development services?
  5. Innovation
    Describe how the leadership of this individual incorporated something unique or something that would result in a change or leave a lasting legacy in the way council planning and development staff deliver their service/approach their work.
  6. Evaluation
    What feedback or other evaluation methods were used to evaluate the change initiative? Did this person achieve their goal/s and make an impact on their key audiences?
Culture Change Innovation/Excellence Judging Criteria: Council (as an organisation/team)
  1. Overall strategy
    Describe the change initiative and outline why it was needed. You should include an explanation of how the issue/s was defined, which stakeholders were consulted in developing the strategy, and what (appropriate and achievable) goals were set up.
  2. Methodology/stakeholder engagement
    Outline the methodology/approach used to develop, deliver and evaluate the change initiative/strategy. Include a description of how stakeholders (internal/external) were engaged. Were stakeholders asked to give feedback as part of evaluating the outcomes?
  3. Creating a positive environment for change
    Describe what strategies were used to create an environment of trust and positivity and to overcome change resistance. What actions and activities were used to encourage staff to embrace change? How was resistance managed
  4. The impact of the change on relationships
    Describe how this change initiative/strategy achieved its goal/s and made an impact on relationships between those who operate, use and are affected by the planning system.  
  5. The shift in focus/approach that has resulted from the change
    Explain how this initiative altered the focus/approach in the way the council is delivering its planning and development services. What is different now? How has this change been embedded into the council’s culture?
  6. The impact of the change on the development and behaviour of staff
    Describe how the strategy/methodology incorporated something unique or that would leave a lasting legacy on the behaviour of staff. How did this change contribute to strengthening the council’s capacities and performance for planning and development services?

Prepare your submission 

To enter online, it is essential that you follow the steps below in advance: 
  • Your submission should be no longer than 4 A4 pages in length, in Word or PDF format, no larger than 5MB. 
  • Ensure you spell check and present a neat formatted document with clear headings. 
Entry is open to NSW councils only and entrants, or their organisation, must be a member of LGNSW. 
 
Entries close Friday 8 September 2017. 

Tips for winning

Remember that the judging panel will see many entries. Cut through the competition with a short, concise entry and links to supporting documents which judges can view online.
 
Keep it Simple:
  • A concise summary
  • Professional writing
  • Good images
  • Enter the right category - do your research, and make sure you enter the right project in the right category
All entries are acknowledged on the day and LGNSW encourages entrants to attend the LGNSW Planning Breakfast on Tuesday 24 October 2017, to celebrate the high standard of work by local government in NSW.