Successful community collaboration recognised in Mainstreet awards

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Council's Manager Operations Graham Knaggs and Penola Town Square Working Party representative Anne Johnson accept Mainstreet SA award.

There were celebrations in Penola last week with the Town Square project receiving a state award at a presentation held in Adelaide.

The project was recognised by not-for-profit organisation Mainstreet SA, for the partnership between the Council and the community which brought to fruition the long-term vision for a central public space for Penola.

The Local Government Association Outstanding Partnership Award was presented to project advocate and community member Anne Johnson AM, along with Council’s Operations Manager, Graham Knaggs who were proud to receive the accolade on behalf of the Town Square Committee and the wider community. There were several high calibre award finalists listed, many of which were significant projects completed by larger metropolitan councils.

The Award recognises outstanding examples of partnerships between businesses, community and Government to create and deliver projects in a mainstreet or precinct, of which the Penola Town Square is an outstanding example. The space is the result of a vision dating back over two decades, brought about through extensive partnerships between the Council, the Penola Town Square Committee, community organisations, businesses and individuals.

The Mainstreet SA judges said: “This is not an example of the quick fix. The Penola Town Square is a true example of the power of persistence and the value of committed stakeholders that remain engaged for the long-term.’

The judges also noted that ‘this has been a project to create a public space for all sorts of uses – a town square by townspeople for all to enjoy. This is a priceless project given the massive extent of community input in terms of time and resources and the pride that it has generated already.’
The project was also listed as a ‘finalist’ in the Best Regional Mainstreet category.

“Council is honoured to receive recognition for our part in this project but also acknowledges the persistence, support and contribution provided by the Committee, volunteer organisations, businesses and individuals of Penola. It is a fantastic outcome for an outstanding community asset that is already proving to be well utilised,” Council's Chief Executive Officer, Ben Gower said.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with these stakeholders to ensure the continual enhancement of the space and its use.”
Mayor Peter Gandolfi also had high praise for the space and the efforts of those that helped to create it – “I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the Town Square project, the Award is well deserved” he said.

For further information please contact:

Peter Halton, Director Engineering Services
Telephone:                (08) 8733 0901