Excitement is mounting in Tetoora Road, Nilma North and Tanjil Bren after community-led projects received Baw Baw Shire Council endorsement at Wednesday night’s meeting.
The projects are part of Council’s annual Placemaking Program which is designed to benefit the Shire’s smaller rural communities by delivering improvement projects requested directly by local residents to enhance liveability and visitation.
This year’s program will see $180,000 spread across the three townships ($60,000 in each community) to deliver the following community-identified projects:
- In Tetoora Road, Council endorsed the installation of a combination of gym and playground equipment at the Tetoora Road Hall grounds.
- In Nilma North, Council endorsed the installation of an all abilities BBQ and BBQ shelter at the Nilma North and Lillico Memorial Hall grounds.
- In Tanjil Bren, Council has endorsed plans to seek approval from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and the Committee of Management for an upgrade of the BBQ and picnic area on Saxtons Road.
In choosing the projects, in-depth community consultation was carried out in late 2021. It comprised a series of two community meetings in each of the towns, as well as surveys to identify possible projects and ultimately determine which option would receive top priority to go to Council for endorsement.
Of the chosen project in Nilma North, community member and organiser Colin Gray said “the idea of the project came about after community BBQs. It was recognised then by the hall committee that an all-abilities BBQ was a good acquisition to the hall as nothing else was available in the Shire. It was about bringing other community members to the hall to utilise our facilities.”
Tetoora Road local Ann Bullen was thoroughly involved in the process for their project and says it will benefit the local community, especially those with children, as it will give more opportunities for exercise and play. She also hopes it will also increase the profile of the Hall and grounds as a destination for locals.
On choosing the most suitable project, she said “the process of finding out what the community wanted was a fair one. If we wanted equipment like this normally we would have to spend much time preparing grant documentation. We are grateful for this opportunity given to us by Baw Baw Shire and also grateful that we are getting the gym and play equipment without the necessity of applying for grants. Thank you, Baw Baw Shire.”
Shaun Hallam, a local resident involved in the Tanjil Bren project, echoed Ms Bullen’s sentiments about the benefits for the local community, saying “the Placemaking Program has given us the opportunity to upgrade facilities for residents and visitors that small towns like ours can miss out on.”
The Placemaking Program was introduced by Council as part of the 2017-2021 Council Plan and has seen the instigation of 12 projects across Aberfeldy, Athlone, Darnum, Erica, Jindivick, Labertouche, Longwarry North, Modella, Noojee, Seaview, Thorpdale and Willow Grove in addition to the three projects endorsed for 2021/22.
Following Council’s endorsement of the projects, the scope for each will be finalised in further consultation with local community members ins March. With the scope then finalised, the projects will progress to procurement and construction. This is anticipated to occur between March and June 2022.
Quote attributable to Mayor Cr Michael Leaney
“Nobody understands better than locals what is needed to improve the liveability of their town or what could be enhanced to attract more visitation. This program puts the locals in the driving seat and let’s them decide on the projects that will provide the best benefit for them.
I really wanted to thank the community for their involvement in this process – and note that it is a really good process that we go through. It gets people involved, brings people together and is very democratic.
The Placemaking Program has been hugely successful over the last few years. It has delivered big results in small locations that really appreciate the work that Council does and it shows that Baw Baw Shire Council is happy to spread good things all over the Shire.
I look forward to seeing the results in all three locations and joining in with the communities when these projects are delivered.”
Quote attributable to East Ward Cr Darren Wallace
“It’s one of the pleasures of being an East Ward Councillor to get to visit our beautiful communities like Tetoora Road, Nilma North and Tanjil Bren. I’ve always found that the smaller the community, the bigger the community spirit. These are all great projects, led by the communities and supported by our Council officers who have once again done a wonderful job in supporting the program.”
Quote attributable to East Ward Cr Peter Kostos
“Thank you very much to the communities who have had input into this result, and congratulations to them on this outcome. The consultation with the community, not just at meetings but also over the phone and by email, has really given them the opportunity to say what they want. This is a great outcome for the people in these communities. I hope that when all the infrastructure is finished that it gets well used – as I’m sure it will.”