Blue sky thinking for open space planning

Gunnedah Shire Council

Gunnedah Shire Council is seeking your input about the brightest future of our parks and recreation areas following the release of the Draft Gunnedah Shire Open Space Strategy 2022-32.

The strategy will guide us in the planning, design, development and management of our open spaces over the next 10 years, and looks at locations such as sporting fields, parks, the Shire’s open spaces in villages, the river precinct and the very popular Wolseley Park area.

Gunnedah Shire Mayor Jamie Chaffey said consultants Ross Planning had already sought community views through workshops, community and sport club surveys, and interviews to help shape the draft strategy, but this was another opportunity to take a look at specific concepts.

“Parks and recreation areas are very important to our quality of life,” Cr Chaffey said.

“At every stage of our lives, from when our young children are playing at the park, to sporting activities and walks in our bushland, open spaces are where we gather, exercise, enjoy time with our families and enjoy the outdoors.

“It’s important to have community input into how they will look in 10 years time. Community surveys carried out to help this strategy brought in 270 responses from residents – showing just how much we value our open spaces.

“This draft strategy includes specific future planning for much-loved spaces like Wolseley Park, suggestions for off-leash dog areas, potential repurposing of pockets of parkland that are not used, potential changes for the skate park and many other concepts that could make our open spaces even better in the next decade.

“We all use these spaces, and I urge as many people as possible to have their say in their future. There are some great ideas in this draft strategy, but we need to know what you think before we go ahead with a final strategy.”

Here’s a snapshot of some of the survey results:

  • 94% of respondents rate open space as very important (80%) or important (14.5%) to themselves and their families
  • Close to 80% of respondents visit a park or sports facility at least weekly
  • 49% of respondents take part in organised sport in Gunnedah
  • The most popular type of outdoor recreation activity (other than sport) is walking (75% of respondents), followed by bushwalking (53%) and playing in the park (52%)
  • Gunnedah Shire’s favourite open space is Livvi’s Place, followed by Wolseley Park, Porcupine Lookout, Stock Road walking path and Namoi River walking path.

To take a look at the Draft Gunnedah Shire Open Space Strategy 2022-32, click here or drop in to the Gunnedah Shire Council in Elgin Street or Gunnedah Shire Library to view the strategy.

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