Get involved in the future of our region

MidCoast Council staff will be available at the Gloucester market to talk about the region’s Community Strategic Plan (CSP).

If you’ve heard about the plan, but aren’t not sure what it’s all about, staff will be at the Gloucester Farmers Market on Saturday, February 10 to talk about it with the community.

Council is asking members of the community to take the time to find out what the plan is all about and alos ti have their say about the plan that will guide the region’s direction to 2030.

In its draft format, the plan reiterates what the community has told MidCoast Council is important to them, driven through conversations over the past 18 months; but unless you’re one of the minority who have been part of those conversations, your priorities and vision for the future of the region are likely to be missing.

“It’s important we capture the needs, wants and desires of people from all areas of the MidCoast region, people from all walks of life, and all age groups,” MidCoast Council’s Director of Community Spaces and Services Paul De Szell said. 

“It’s not unusual for us to hear from a small group of people, often the same voices who provide input on whatever’s open for feedback, and while their views are vitally important to us, they aren’t necessarily always representative of our community as a whole”.

According to council, it doesn’t matter whether you were born here, or moved to the region to enjoy a slower pace or an active outdoor lifestyle. It’s beside the point whether you’re studying, in the workforce, retired or unemployed, a single-person household or a family of ten.

“Everyone who sees a future living in the region has an opinion and a vision, and that’s what we’re looking to understand through our current consultation process,”Paul said.

But what’s a Community Strategic Plan anyway?

It’s a long-term plan that the NSW Government requires every council to produce in collaboration with their communities. The CSP documents what the local community aspires to achieve, what’s important to them for the future, and how they want their region to grow and evolve over time. Its importance is realised when councils are then required to prepare their delivery program and operational plans, with tangible implementation projects that fall directly out of the CSP.  

Here are three very good reasons to have your say while the draft CSP is open for feedback.

  1. Unless you speak up, the Council team won’t know what’s important to include in the plan.
  2. Priorities that are not captured now can’t be considered for action any time soon. MidCoast Council’s CSP covers the period through to 2030.
  3. If you don’t have your say, you’re relying on others to represent your views and opinions.  Will their feedback reflect what’s important to you, to your family, your sports club or interest group, or your business?

The MidCoast region’s draft Community Strategic Plan currently includes an overarching vision and five priorities or “values” that the Council team has developed from information provided by the community since the 2016 merger. With the draft open for feedback until Friday, February 23, it’s not too late to have your say.

To view the draft, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/csp where you can also take part in an online survey, or submit your feedback via email. The draft plan and take-away information is also on display in MidCoast Council offices and libraries, and the Council team will be hosting pop-up sessions at markets and events around the region.

Check the Council website, or follow MidCoast Council’s Facebook page for updates, and dates and locations of the pop-up sessions.

The feedback period closes on Friday February 23, with the final CSP currently earmarked to be presented for endorsement at MidCoast Council’s March meeting.