Brisbane Metro takes the gong at local government awards

The Brisbane Metro has won an award at a statewide awards ceremony recognizing excellence in local government.

Digby Whyte from Balonne Shire Council receives the Sustainability Award on May 24, 2024 (image: LGMA)

Queensland City Council initiatives ranging from Brisbane City’s plan for a bus rapid transit system to a wild dog fencing project were recognized at the Local Government Managers Awards, announced in Brisbane on May 24.

The awards recognize outstanding work from councils across the state in the areas of innovation, community, sustainability, workplace wellbeing and ingenuity.

President Andrew Chesterman said all nominations demonstrate innovation, collaboration and initiatives that improve communities and workplaces.

“These awards once again demonstrate the tremendous capabilities and innovative thinking that permeates our sector,” he said.

Connecting people and places

The first phase is underway and services will start later this year.

The project was awarded the Innovation Award for Connecting People and Places by investing in the city’s bus network to deliver a new fleet of electric vehicles, major infrastructure works, station upgrades and network improvements, and to encourage active transport through cycle lanes and improve sidewalks.

“Through holistic design, state-of-the-art technology and innovative construction methods, Brisbane Metro will provide the community with an accessible and safe public transport experience,” the awards magazine said.

Who let the dogs in? Not Balonne

Meanwhile, Balonne Shire in the state’s south-west took out the sustainability category for its wild dog fencing project.

Since 2019, Council has been implementing this Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing Program, with approximately 1,700km of fencing installed across 695,500 hectares and 87 properties, with more than 66 percent of the Shire now fenced.

The Wild Dog Exclusion Fencing Program will boost farm income by $100 million and create around 230 additional jobs in the Shire, says Mayor Samantha O’Toole.

This project has also led to greater diversification on the farm, which has also delivered an additional $42 million in investments in plant and equipment, yards and barns, internal fencing and water improvements on local farms, she said.

“We are now seeing the obvious benefits of reduced stock losses and improved reproductive numbers, along with a range of other benefits as farmers regain control of their properties and are willing to invest and diversify,” said Mayor O’Toole.

“For our little Shire to see an increase of around 230 jobs from one program is a great outcome for both local people and landowners.”

Sustainability – Balonne Shire Council – Wild Dog Exclusion Program

Wellbeing in the workplace – Gladstone Regional Council – Our culture journey

Cooperation – South East Queensland Wildlife Land – Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Gympie, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Noosa, Redland, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Toowoomba Councils

Ingenuity – Norfolk Island Regional Council – Waste Management Programme

Teamwork – Western Downs Regional Council – Disaster Response and Recovery

Community building – Gladstone Regional Council – First Nations Fire Officer

Innovation – Brisbane City Council – Brisbane Metro, a new era of connected travel

Above and beyond – Stephen Droog

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