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Council’s Planning Team recognised for enabling economic development

15 November 2017

Western Downs Regional Council received an Award for Planning Excellence and a Commendation at the recent 2017 Queensland Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence in Brisbane. Pictured L-R: Deputy Mayor Cr Andrew Smith, Planning Officer Dominic Bradley, Mayor Cr Paul McVeigh, General Manager Jodie Taylor, Development Assessment Coordinator Cecil Barnard, Planning & Environment Manager Todd Summerville, Economic Development Manager Amanda Pugh, CEO Ross Musgrove and Senior Planner Kate Swepson.

Western Downs Regional Council received an Award for Planning Excellence and a Commendation at the recent 2017 Queensland Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence in Brisbane. Pictured L-R: Deputy Mayor Cr Andrew Smith, Planning Officer Dominic Bradley, Mayor Cr Paul McVeigh, General Manager Jodie Taylor, Development Assessment Coordinator Cecil Barnard, Planning & Environment Manager Todd Summerville, Economic Development Manager Amanda Pugh, CEO Ross Musgrove and Senior Planner Kate Swepson.

Western Downs Regional Council’s innovative approach to enabling economic development has been recognised as the best in the state with its Development Assessment Team winning the top award for Improving Planning Processes and Practices at the recent 2017 Queensland Planning Institute of Australia Awards for Excellence.

  • Winning against much larger councils and esteemed planning professionals across Queensland, Council’s Development Assessment Team impressed the judging panel with the “visionary and innovative” changes made to culture and processes to better enable development in our region;
  • With the Awards recognising excellence and designed to showcase leading practice across a range of planning disciplines and sectors, Western Downs Regional Council was the only regional council to make the winner’s circle;
  • Council’s Strategic Planning Team was also recognised, receiving a Commendation for the Western Downs Planning Scheme; and
  • As 2017 Award for Excellence Winners, Council’s Development Assessment Team is now in the running for the 2018 National Awards for Planning Excellence.

Western Downs Regional Council Spokesperson for Planning and Environment Councillor Andrew Smith said the award recognition supports what Council has been doing as a result of its new planning scheme.

“Not only do we have a modern planning scheme that supports economic development, we also have a talented and proactive team of planners who are committed to enabling the right projects for our region,” he said.

“It’s a winning combination and the envy of other councils across the state.

“It is an outstanding achievement for the fresh approach to development assessment taken by a relatively small regional council, such as ours, to win a Planning Excellence Award of this calibre.

“All credit to our dedicated team who pride themselves on being economic development enablers.

“We have created a culture of making things happen by cutting unnecessary red tape without cutting corners. As a result, our regional economy has never been so diverse.

“This is important because strong, diverse economic development creates jobs, and in our region, as in every community in regional Australia, jobs are number one.”

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Media Contact:

Cr Andrew Smith | Spokesperson for Planning and Environment | 0438 755 896