Community members are being asked to shape Council’s work over the coming four years, with the Draft Council Plan released for final community feedback.
At their meeting on 14 September, Councillors voted to release the Draft Council Plan 2021-25, including the Community Vision and long-term Financial Plan for community engagement.
From 15 September – 12 October, community members will be able to read all of the key documents and provide feedback on the strategies and projects.
Community feedback will be used to refine and finalise the documents before they return to Council for final endorsement.
Yarra Ranges Mayor, Fiona McAllister, said that the Council Plan sets out the priorities of the organisation for the next four years.
“This Council Plan sets our focus, our major initiatives and our goals for supporting and delivering for the communities of Yarra Ranges for the next four years,” she said.
“A key area of focus will be to support and enable our local economy and businesses to survive and bounce back.”
Some initiatives in the draft plan include:
- Improving Aboriginal health and wellbeing in the community
- Helping Yarra Ranges become a world-class trails and eco-tourism destination
- Prepare and implement a Biodiversity Plan to support the ecologies of the region
- Reduce Council’s ecological footprint by committing to renewable energy
- Improve mental health outcomes for the community
- Undertake integrated place planning for activity centres and town centres
- Build community resilience through emergency planning and preparedness
The Long-term Financial Plan is a ten-year extension of the principles in the Annual Budget, which gives Council a long-term outlook on finances.
Cr McAllister said the Council Plan and all of its goals were directly influenced by community feedback gathered over the last year.
“Earlier this year, we put together a panel of 50 community members from various backgrounds and demographics to represent the voices or our community, who shared their thoughts with us about Council’s work and where our priorities should be for the future,” she said.
“This feedback, along with input from our staff and other community engagements, has shaped this Draft Plan and Community Vision.
“The next four years will be critical for our community as we recover, rebuild and reconnect in communities and towns and as a municipality. This is at the heart of this Council Plan and every decision we make.
“We know everyone’s journey has been different, that priorities are different and ever changing and that our role in making the right decisions at the right time has never been more important.
“This Council Plan is our promise to you on what is most important and how we will continue to do the work for you that matters the most.
“I encourage everyone in the community to take a moment, have a read and share any thoughts you have – no matter how big or small they may be.”