The Sam Samra Award

The Sam Samra annual Award was established in 2017 as a memorial and acknowledgement of the late Sam Samra’s long-term contribution, passion and dedication to the water industry. Sam was a great ally of local water utilities in NSW which benefited from his commitment over a 50 year period.
 

Sam’s legacy is unlikely to be surpassed and it has many aspects. One of the most enduring of these is performance benchmarking in NSW and on a national level. 

Who was Sam Samra?

Sam Samra was a highly regarded public servant in the NSW Government for many years, who was instrumental in a range of reforms that contributed to marked improvements in the performance of local water utilities in regional NSW. He was well known for his extensive knowledge and attention to detail and was highly regarded at the local, state and national levels for his work on performance monitoring and improvement.

Sam was involved in delivering key aspects of the NSW Government’s Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program. He pioneered and led the  development and implementation of the widely respected NSW Government Best Practice Management of Water Supply and Sewerage Framework. The framework helped lift the performance of many local water utilities to a best practice standard. Sam died on 16 August 2016 following a tragic accident.

The Sam Samra Award reflects on Sam’s passing and recognises his remarkable work. It is co-sponsored by Local Government NSW, the NSW Water Directorate and the Department of Industry - Water. 


The Sam Samra Award 2018

Snowy Monaro Regional Council was awarded the 2018 Sam Samra Award in recognition of progress following the amalgamation of the former Snowy River, Cooma-Monaro and Bombala Shires.

After amalgamation the Snowy Monaro Regional Council undertook a water supply and sewerage pricing review, and streamlined and harmonised its pricing. It also implemented user-pays non-residential sewer charges. This process involved intensive community consultations and the council had to remain strong against pressure from stakeholders, particularly businesses that faced significant increases in bills.

The winner was determined by a judging panel from a shortlist of three LWUs whose projects delivered major performance improvements. This award was presented at the Echidna Gully Function Centre in Armidale at LGNSW's 2018 Water Management Conference dinner.


Image: 2018 Sam Samra Award winner Snowy Monaro Regional
Council's Group Manager Water and Waste Gnai Ahmet


The Sam Samra Award 2017
In the inaugural year of the award, judges looked at performance monitoring data to identify the most improved local water utilities over the past 10 years in four categories:

small ( < 5,000 connected properties) local water utilities, water supply 
small ( < 5,000 connected properties) local water utilities, sewerage
large ( > 5,000 connected properties) local water utilities, water supply
large ( > 5,000 connected properties) local water utilities, sewerage

Image: 2017 Sam Samra Award winner Gunnedah Shire Council's Manager Water Services
Kevin Sheridan with Acting Director of Infrastructure Services Edward Paas

Awards were presented at the LGNSW Water Management Conference dinner at Dubbo on 5 September 2017 to the most improved LWU in each of four categories and to the overall most improved LWU. The five winners were determined by rigorous analysis of a decade of data recorded in the NSW Water Supply & Sewerage Performance Monitoring Reports. The data analysis process was developed by DPI Water. 

Finalists and winners of the Award were determined based on an assessment of performance data from the NSW Water Supply and Sewerage Performance Monitoring Report and the NSW Water Supply and Sewerage Benchmarking Report.

The Inaugural Sam Samra Awards were presented at the Local Government NSW Water Management Conference at the Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo on Tuesday, 5 September 2017.


Congratulations to the eight finalists. Nine awards were presented jointly by DPI Water, LGNSW and the Water Directorate as follows:

Most Improved Small Water Supply Service Provider
(Local Water Utility with less than 5,000 connected properties)
The Runner Up in this category is Carrathool Shire Council

The Winner in this category is Coonamble Shire Council



Most Improved Large Water Supply Service Provider
(Local Water Utility with more than 5,000 connected properties)

The Runner Up in this category is Orange City Council

The Winner in this category is Kempsey Shire Council



Most Improved Small Sewerage Service Provider
(Local Water Utility with less than 5,000 connected properties)

The Runner Up in this category is Upper Lachlan Shire Council

The Winner in this category is Gunnedah Shire Council



Most Improved Large Sewerage Service Provider
(Local Water Utility with more than 5,000 connected properties)

The Runner Up in this category is Federation Council

The Winner in this category is Wagga Wagga City Council


Most Improved Water and Sewerage Service Provider of the four above category winners

(Coonamble Shire Council; Kempsey Shire Council; Gunnedah Shire Council and Wagga Wagga City Council):

The 2017 Overall Winner is GUNNEDAH SHIRE COUNCIL

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