The new Local Government Act 2020 states that the scope of the Community Vision is a period of at least the next 10 financial years. The point is to look beyond day-to-day issues to set a strategic vision for the municipality. A broader 20 year horizon helps us all to think about what we really value and also what we can do to make it happen. Planning for the next four years will be addressed in the four-year Council Plan, as well as the 10-year-plus Financial Plan.
WHAT IS DELIBERATIVE ENGAGMENT?
Community engagement is a planned process encouraging active involvement of individuals and groups in decisions that affect them or are of interest to them. This typically involves the gathering of ideas and opinions through surveys and polls and sometimes voting online or at public meetings. Deliberative engagement goes a step further. It is a process where a representative group of citizens considers and critically weighs up different ideas, opinions and relevant facts in order to come to an agreed position. It typically involves examining facts from different points of view, seeking out relevant information and advice, and critical discussions between group members. Deliberative approaches are used where the decision outcomes will have high impact or long-term effects on the community.
WHO SHOULD PARTICIPATE?
Council needs a range of people to participate and contribute their ideas – so that the Community Vision reflects the needs and aspirations of the municipality as a whole. We need people representing the interests of men and women, young people and old people and those in between, people from urban and rural areas of the Shire, and a spread of participants from the north, centre and south of the Shire. We are asking participants to supply this basic demographic data so we can take active steps to seek out input from individuals in under-represented groups.
WHAT CAN BE INCLUDED IN THE VISION?
The Community Vision needs to describe the Corangamite Shire community’s aspirations for the municipality. It can include advice on any subject you think is important to shaping your preferred future for Corangamite Shire towards 2040. Ideas might cover the services, infrastructure and amenities you expect Council to provide, or how you think Council should operate. The Community Vision might include proposals for change you want Council to advocate for on behalf of the community. It might also include ideas for partnerships with the community, businesses, organisations or other governments and their agencies. The Community Vision could make reference to any social, environmental, economic or cultural issue you think is important to your preferred future for Corangamite Shire.
DOES THE COMMUNITY VISION REPLACE COMMUNITY TOWNSHIP PLANS?
Community Township Plans remain really important plans in Corangamite. The Community Vision will not replace these plans but instead is wider in scope and will look at issues affecting the Shire as a whole. Community members can still raise matters that might relate to one or more towns or other locations across Corangamite Shire as well as issues originating outside the municipality.
ISN'T THIS WHAT WE PAY COUNCIL AND ITS STAFF TO DO?
Yes, that’s the way it used to be – but not anymore. The State Parliament has passed a new Local Government Act aimed at bringing improved transparency and accountability to municipal governance. The Act requires all Councils to involve the municipal community in high-level strategic planning and direction setting. It mandates deliberative processes to ensure that the direction Council takes reflects the aspirations of the municipal community.