Council to present draft Small Towns Strategy

Southern Grampians Shire Council will present the draft Small Towns Strategy – with a focus on future services and infrastructure – to each of the shire’s small towns over coming weeks.

Progress associations in Balmoral, Branxholme, Byaduk/North Byaduk, Cavendish, Coleraine, Dunkeld, Glenthompson, Penshurst, and Tarrington will be able to view the draft strategy outlining a range of future developments identified by their community and provide feedback to Council.

Mayor Councillor David Robertson said during the past couple of years, council had conducted extensive strategic planning work with its small communities and had rejuvenated partnerships with progress associations.

“The Small Towns Strategy outlines the unique vision that was set by each community during this consultation,” said Cr Robertson. “The document highlights service and infrastructure communities would like to have, such as new open spaces and improvements to existing public buildings.”

He said other planning ideas raised by communities and documented in the strategy included utilising vacant heritage buildings, streetscaping and building walking tracks. He said desired services included better access to public transport and improved waste management.

Cr Roberston added that the Small Towns Strategy considered existing assets in each town, as well the distinctive challenges each community faced.

“There’s a reality that council resources and funding are limited, so we need to collaborate with each community to strategically work out the best way to balance investment across the shire,” he said. “But there’s no doubt that council wants to ensure small town residents have access to facilities and services necessary for liveability.”

Cr Roberston said that whilst each town had their own strategic direction, the ultimate vision was to create a network of small towns in the shire that complemented each other.

“For council, the big picture goal would be for each small town to support each another with a range of different services and infrastructure to provide a strong and sustainable lifestyle for generations to come,” he concluded.

Feedback on the Small Towns Strategy is invited from the broader community before Friday 15 December. You can obtain a copy from council’s website (go to ‘Have Your Say’) or collect a printed copy at council customer service.

It is anticipated that the Small Towns Strategy will be adopted by council early next year.

/Public Release. View in full here.