This month we caught up with Jason Norman, Operations Manager - Infrastructure & Environment at Light Regional Council about his role, and what he enjoys most about working in local government.
What is your role and what does it involve?
Operations Manager - Infrastructure & Environment, Light Regional Council
I’m fortunate to be part of a 30-person team that delivers both civil and horticulture programs within Council, ranging from large capital projects to maintenance tasks including mowing of lawns, maintenance of garden beds and open space areas.
Light Regional Council were finalists in the Excellence in Infrastructure Delivery Award category in this year’s Leadership Excellence Awards for the Gerald Roberts Road Culvert Project – can you share an overview of the project?
Gerald Roberts Road runs through the western ridge of the Barossa and provides a strategic transport link from the Adelaide Hills through to the heart of the Barossa and the iconic Seppeltsfield Road. When Council was faced with the renewal of a floodway through the Greenock Creek, it was clear that much more than a floodway was needed to cope with the increasing traffic being drawn to this area. A cost effective solution that provided year-round access was needed.
In December 2020, Light Regional Council was successful in receiving a $250,000 grant from the Australian Government through the Bridge Renewal Program to assist constructing the bridge.
Design works and community consultation commenced immediately after the announcement and a plan was developed to construct a large opening box culvert that improved safety for the road user whilst limiting the impact on the surrounding viticulture and tourism industries that had been heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The culvert construction methodology minimised the road closure to total of 8 Weeks and the project team delivered a 3.8m high bridge spanning 17m within the $500,000 budget.
Why did you enter the Leadership Excellence Awards?
It’s important to continually recognise high performing teams and the LG Professionals SA Awards are a great way to acknowledge new initiatives that can be shared with other Councils. The Roads and Construction Team that constructed the bridge are a small team of six and the outcome that they achieved was worthy of recognition external to our Council. They demonstrated that complex projects can be delivered by staff within the Local Government sector.
What would be your advice for others thinking of nominating for a Leadership Excellence Award in the future?
I would highly recommend others to nominate their Council for a Leadership Excellence Award. You might be surprised by the positive impact it will have on the culture of your wider team.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government?
After working in the private sector for 15 years before moving to local government, I find that the variety in the daily tasks that I perform is quite satisfying. I can be involved in the laying of 800t of asphalt one day and planting 100 trees the next.
I’m also fortunate to work with an amazing team at Light that empower its staff to make real changes for the community.
Finally – what do you enjoy outside of work? How do you spend your leisure time?
Give me a day up the river with my family and friends, glassy water, good food, a fire at night and a couple of sneaky beers and I’ll be a happy man.