Community Planning Project progressing

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For the past six months, communities in Marysville, Yea and Toolangi-Castella have been getting their hands dirty developing ideas that will help their towns thrive as part of Council’s Community Planning Project.

The Community Planning Project is about putting residents in the driver’s seat identifying priorities for the future of their places and communities and looking at options for bringing these priorities to life.

Council’s Community Planning Portfolio Councillor, Sandice McAulay said what started with humble community dinners in each of the three pilot towns has turned into something really special. A big part of that has to do with the wonderful people volunteering their time to ‘drive’ the plans for their towns.

“In Marysville, more than 50 locals attended the first community dinner in June – 40 of whom signed up to be a part of the project. They’ve held five meetings and are moving ahead in leaps and bounds. They’ve consulted with their community, including collecting ideas and preliminary votes at a ‘Make Marysville Pop’ popcorn stand at the recent ‘Get Ready – Fire Preparedness’ event. The Marysville Community Planning Group will be inviting community members to come together in February 2020 to identify priority project ideas and begin laying out a plan for the town,” Cr McAulay said.

“Toolangi-Castella Community Planners have met a few times since their first dinner in May. They ran an initial voting process on preferred projects and ideas to be included in their community plan. This saw some 70 community members, school children and local youth all nominating their favourite ideas, as well as providing new ideas for consideration.

The Toolangi-Castella Community Planning group will invite community members to gather again on 21 February 2020 at the Toolangi Tavern to prioritise these ideas and begin preparing a plan.

“Some 80 Yea residents met in May to start their community planning process as well, and the Yea group has since held monthly meetings to explore ideas for their town’s future, including expanding the local arts scene, improving opportunities for young people, addressing environmental issues and promoting local heritage. At this stage, it looks like the group’s first steps are to improve connections across the community and explore opportunities for collaboration to help deliver the projects the community decides are the priority. To progress this, the Yea Community Planning Group will be hosting another dinner, open to everyone in the community, on 10 February 2020.

“All in all, the first six months of the Community Planning Project have been huge and we’re really looking forward to seeing the plans each pilot town and group puts forward in the coming months,” Cr McAulay said.

“We’re excited to be testing this new council-community co-design approach to strategic community planning and key priority project development.

“As always, a big thanks to IAG, and their local brand WFI Insurance, for their generous support of this Community Planning pilot program,” Cr McAulay said.

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