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Brett Walsh wins inaugural Butch Lenton Award

Barcaldine Regional Council deputy chief executive Brett Walsh has won the inaugural Butch Lenton Memorial Bush Councils Innovation Award.

The award, sponsored by Peak Services, is aimed at encouraging innovation among bush councils to ensure they identify and act on opportunities to improve their local communities.

It is named in honour of former Winton Mayor Butch Lenton, who passed away in October 2017. Mayor Lenton, a much loved and respected member of the local government family in Queensland, was known for his commitment to innovation.

Mr Walsh will use the award, which comes with a $10,000 bursary, to help pay for a study tour to the United States to discover how small rural communities were adopting smart growth opportunities to ensure their future survival.

He would like to be able to to translate what he found on the tour to opportunities for western Queensland communities.

Butch Lenton’s widow, Ros, and daughter, Carly Cox, presented the award to him at the LGAQ’s annual conference for 2018 in Brisbane.

During more than 20 years in public life, Butch Lenton pursued his unique vision for the region in which he was born and raised.

That vision extended far beyond driving the traditional agricultural and grazing industries existing in the area. It included developing tourism, renewable energy and telecommunications as key features of a thriving local economy.

The award is a small way for us to recognise innovation in Bush Councils and pay tribute to Butch’s legacy.