Picture from left: Members of working group James Green (Managing Director Greencon Australia), Nick Hayes (Site Manager Fonterra), Laura Hultgren (Business Economic Development Consultant), Cr Jo Beard and local dairy farmer Michael Noy.
Earmarking land for new housing and industrial development, attracting new business and creating attractions to draw people to Cobden are some of the key ambitions proposed in a discussion paper on the town’s future direction.
Corangamite Shire is in the early stages of preparing a structure plan, which will guide the future growth and development of the town over the next 15-20 years.
The plan looks at the township of Cobden, as well as land within one kilometre of the existing township.
South Central Ward Councillor Jo Beard said residents were invited to share their views on Towards a Structure Plan for Cobden, a discussion paper which has been released for community feedback.
She said the working group members included representatives from community, business, industry, agriculture and emergency services.
“We have had a lot of really valued input so far through the working group and community survey,” Cr Beard said.
“The paper includes what we have heard from residents, what they like about Cobden, and what changes they’d like to see in the future.
“There are some big picture ideas to attract people to Cobden,” Cr Beard said.
“We’ve heard there is a need to protect and maintain what is good about the town but also there is a recognition that certain change is also likely to be beneficial.
“For instance, results from the first survey strongly emphasised the need for commercial development in the town centre, more local job opportunities, the need for more housing, arts and cultural activities, and walking paths,” she said.
“There is strong support too for protecting environmental features in Cobden and improving open spaces and parks.”
Key themes in the paper include: Cobden as a service town; attracting more people to spend time in Cobden; new homes in Cobden and; a resilient Cobden.
Cr Beard said that Cobden was at a key decision point about its future and encouraged residents to complete the online survey or attend a feedback session.
“Now’s the time,” she said.
“This is a really important opportunity for residents to tell us what they think about these directions before they are considered for inclusion in the first draft of the structure plan.”
Towards a Structure Plan for Cobden is available online at www.corangamite.vic.gov.au/CobdenPlan, with copies available at the Cobden Library and other businesses in town.
Community information and feedback sessions will be held at:
Wednesday 25 May, 4-6 pm
Cobden Civic Hall
Thursday 26 May, 9-11 am
Tuesday 7 June, 7-8 pm
Cobden Civic Hall