Growth And Community Engagement

Kiama Council

Kiama Council Calls for Open Community Dialogue on Future Growth and Engagement

Kiama Council is embarking on an inclusive and dynamic journey to shape the future of our towns, villages and region.

Council is encouraging every member of the community to actively participate in two pivotal conversations that will shape the trajectory of Kiama’s future – growth and community engagement.

The growth conversation delves into the intricacies of our evolving landscape, addressing vital fronts like Bombo Quarry, South Kiama, Springside Hill, Spring Creek and Dido Street. Recognising the national housing shortage, and local government’s role in managing growth, we aim to collaboratively identify suitable sites for growth, explore practical solutions, and define essential infrastructure which are fundamental for responsible growth.

Acting Mayor Imogen Draisma emphasised, “This isn’t just about building houses; it’s about creating communities and villages, legacies we can collectively be proud of. We need to think deeply about fundamentals like water, sewerage, open spaces, schools and employment / industrial lands.”

Simultaneously, Kiama Council is refreshing its Community Engagement Strategy, striving to amplify the voices that often go unheard. Claire Doble, Council’s Communications and Engagement Manager, who will lead the Community Engagement Strategy stated: “We’re taking a fresh new direction, engaging with diverse voices alongside traditional stakeholders, ensuring we have a strategy that truly represents our community.”

These two conversations will directly contribute to the development of our Growth and Housing Strategy and Community Engagement Strategy, guiding Council, the NSW Government, and our community. Council urges everyone to stay tuned for upcoming communication, seize opportunities to provide feedback, and actively get involved.

“In the coming weeks you will be seeing a lot of communication from Council about these two projects and be given opportunities to provide input in a wide range of ways. I encourage everyone in the community to think about these issues, have your say, keep an open mind and be willing to listen,” Acting Mayor Draisma said.

Kiama Municipal Council CEO Jane Stroud said Council was committed to approaching these topics differently than Council has done in the past.

“We know the conversations won’t always be comfortable. Changing and growing, while protecting what’s important, is a hard balance to strike. We are open to hearing from a diverse range of community voices and to your helping us co-design and refine these key strategies,” Ms Stroud said.

Director of Planning, Environment, and Communities, Jessica Rippon, will lead the conversation on growth, development proposals and future planning for our LGA.

“We aim to ‘lead growth for good,’ planning for a future where infrastructure aligns with development, fostering positive change,” Ms Rippon said.

In terms of the Housing and Growth Strategy, Ms Rippon said: “We will be hosting robust discussions, be seeking online feedback, partnering with the NSW Government Department of Planning and conducting meetings with our stakeholders and community members to capture ideas and views on growth.”

“This will include discussions about some of the development proposals that are before Council and future opportunities such as development within Bombo Quarry.”

In relation to the Community Engagement Strategy, Ms Doble said the process would start with meetings with key stakeholders and various community pop ups throughout March.

“Once we have prepared a draft strategy, community members will once again get an opportunity to provide feedback. The finalised strategy and accompanying report will outline how community feedback has shaped the strategy,” Ms Doble said.

Council staff are currently briefing Councillors, committees and other key stakeholders about the projects and the engagement activities that are going to be occurring over the coming weeks and months.

Council will provide regular updates to our community on the timing, activities and opportunities to be involved.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our community to co-design and refine strategies that will echo through generations. Let’s engage, discuss, and envision a Kiama we’re all proud to call home,” Cr Draisma said.

/Public Release. View in full here.