Media Release by Senator the Hon Amanda Vanstone

SA Local Government a National Award winner

Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Amanda Vanstone, today congratulated the Coorong District Council, SA, on its success in the National Awards for Innovation in Local Government, announced this week.

The Coorong Communication Project won an overall award and the rural community category award for developing what is believed to be Australia’s first community-based alternative regional telecommunications network.

The highly innovative project is delivering telecommunications savings of between 35 to 58 per cent for community and business customers, improved customer service and has seen the Council’s telecommunications costs fall by nearly 50 per cent.

Senator Vanstone said she was delighted that a local government body in her home state had won such a prestigious award, and that her Department had been able to sponsor a number of categories in this year’s awards.

“These awards are a crucial way of acknowledging innovation and encouraging continuous improvement in the Local Government sector,” Senator Vanstone said.

“The Coorong Communication Project clearly shows how Local Government can help to deliver community-focused solutions which address issues that are crucial to local people and for regional development.

“The Howard Government is committed to strengthening Australian communities and families by encouraging the development of local solutions to local problems.

“When government, businesses, families and individuals pool their skills and resources, the partnerships that develop provide one of the best ways of helping to address the issues which are important and of immediate relevance to local communities.”

Details of the winners of the Award categories sponsored by the Department of Family and Community Services are attached below.

  • Coorong District Council, South Australia
    (Winner of the Special Award for Strengthening Rural/Remote Communities and the National Rural Award for the most innovative rural entry)
  • Wyndham City Council, Victoria
    (Winner of the Community Services category)The Wyndham City Council’s Household Panel Study is a longitudinal study to track changes in attitudes and lifestyle, helping the Council to make decisions and plan for the future. The Study is an innovative way of giving the local community input and involvement in planning and decision-making.
  • Mosman Municipal Council, New South Wales
    (Winner of the Special Award for International Year of Volunteers)The Council’s Volunteer Program ensures volunteer recruitment, selection, training and support are implemented consistently and evaluated annually. The program captures the true spirit of the International Year by supporting, celebrating and recognising the community’s volunteers.