Eight submissions were received for this year’s Risk Management Excellence Awards. All were top-notch, with one stand-out winner.

Lake Macquarie City Council came up trumps at the recent Risk Management Conference, winning the coveted Statewide Mutual Risk Management Excellence Awards (RMEA) for their ‘Managing Shark Sightings’ submission.

For the uninitiated, the RMEA recognise NSW councils who implement superior risk management programs using the principles of identification, evaluation, control, and measure. The awards exist to promote:


recognition of risk management as a management structure;


awareness of risk management issues;


innovation in risk reduction; and


recognition of that innovation.

The judging panel consists of Statewide Mutual Risk Management Committee members.

Lake Macquarie City Council ‘Managing Shark Sightings’

Media attention and public interest in the number of shark sightings along the Lake Macquarie City Council (LMCC) coastline surged during the 2014/15 summer period; the potential for shark attacks was real. This highlighted the role of beach lifeguards and associated risk management procedures as part of a collective shark attack mitigation response from relevant authorities.

‘Managing Shark Sightings’ covers LMCC’s process of developing and implementing such risk management procedures and initiatives used by the Beach Lifeguard Team in addressing risks posed by shark attacks within patrol areas of a dynamic coastal environment.

The submission included details about the process of risk identification and capturing the knowledge of experienced “feet in the sand” team members, external subject matter experts, and independent peer review of beach risk management controls. This collaborative approach to innovation ensures responses that are practical and more readily integrated as part of standard operating practice.

The consequences of shark attacks are significant and require appropriate provisions within Council’s scope of risk management obligations. While it’s impossible to eliminate all risks, LMCC has developed sound operating procedures in consultation with industry experts that ensure a consistent risk response rationale is applied across Council’s four patrolled beaches.

“After much hard work by our Leisure Services Department in protecting our community from shark attack risks, I’m overjoyed with the recognition this signals for the team,” Brian Bell, LMCC General Manager, said of the award win. “In the spirit of information sharing and continued collaborative risk management, we look forward to making the shark sighting procedure available to all Statewide Mutual members.”

Well done Lake Macquarie City Council!

Our other quality submissions

Submissions received from other member councils include:


Eurobodalla Shire Council – Event Approval Database


Forbes Shire Council – CENTROC WHS Induction Program


Greater Hume Shire Council – Risk and WHS Management System


Lachlan Shire Council – Road Asset Condition Rating System


Port Stephens Council – Contractor Management System


Randwick City Council – Integrated Management of Works System


Warringah Council – Our ERM Evolution

Copies of all submissions can be viewed in the Member Centre, accessed through the Statewide Mutual website, or by contacting your Regional Risk Manager.

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