Bland Shire Council takes out AR Bluett Award for being most progressive rural council

Bland Shire Council, centered around West Wyalong, has been recognized as the most progressive council in rural NSW, by winning the AR Bluett Memorial Award.

“The AR Bluett Award is the most prestigious accolade any NSW Council can achieve,” Bland Shire General Manager, Ray Smith said.

The Bluett Award recognises the most progressive rural council in the state, based on all Council operations and services.

Mr Smith said the award is a result of a combination of successful projects undertaken in 2017, most notably the stormwater harvesting program which will drought proof parks, gardens and sporting facilities for at least 10 years; and the completion of the $2.4 million West Wyalong Stadium refurbishment.

This project followed upgrades to Ron Crowe Oval, the Park Street Recreation Ground, West Wyalong Tennis Courts and the construction of a skate park as part of Council's ten year plan to build new and enhanced sporting infrastructure.

Bland Shire also boosted tourists numbers, though the Weethalle silo art project – the first of its kind send in NSW – which was achieved within council budget of $10,000 and received a million online views.  

West Wyalong also hosted the annual town crier competition

“West Wyalong is not generally known as a tourist destination, it’s a more a place people pass thought. But we are doing all we can to ensure people stay an extra night,” Mr Smith said. 

Mr Smith said council adopted a vastly reduced capital works program in 2016-2017 with an emphasis on asset maintenance and renewal.  This tact also helped Council meet or progress closer to meeting the benchmarks set by the State Government.