A new community planning approach will see Port Macquarie-Hastings Council collaborate with residents across the region to develop visions for the region’s towns, villages and communities.
Over the next few month’s, council will be embarking on the program that will see close working partnerships with more than 17 communities to develop plans that will assist in understanding individual community issues and priorities, and help shape the future of each unique area.
Community plans explore concepts of place, character and liveability; identify a community’s strengths and assets, and outline how those can be utilised to build capacity; enable community empowerment for the future, and better align community projects and expectations with council’s processes and budgets.
Director Jeffery Sharp said council is excited to be embarking on this community planning process, engaging with communities and building great relationships.
“We believe through this process we can change how local government works in our region, bring council closer to the community and capture the priorities each community has identified as important for a strong and sustainable future,” Mr Sharp said.
“Having a plan is also important in identifying the role community’s play in defining existing character and shaping a desired future character for their local area.”
Over the next six months, community planning will commence in the following communities:
- Port Macquarie North Shore;
- Laurieton/ North Haven/Dunbogan/West Haven;
- Thrumster/ Innes Lake/Sovereign Hills/Lake Innes/Ascot Park;
- Kew /Kendall/ Herons Creek/ Lorne;
- Comboyne/ Byabarra/ (Bagnoo)
This program will continue over the next two years until 17 plans are developed and communities are working together to achieve their visions.
During the past year, a pilot project to develop the community plan with the Bonny Hills community has been extremely well-received, with final endorsement of the draft plan earmarked for September.
During the development of the Bonny Hills plan, many ideas have been trialled, and the local community has enthusiastically embraced the concept, working closely with council.
“Community planning is an innovative and inclusive way of creating a vision for each of our unique local areas, and Council is really encouraging everyone to embrace the idea, and contribute in whatever you can,” Mr Sharp said.
Residents of each community will be contacted by council to advise when the planning will commence.