Community Panel to assist Council’s development of long-term vision
May 5, 2021
Colac Otway Shire Council has entered the next phase of working with the community to develop a long-term Community Vision for the shire.
Council began consultation with the community in February via an online survey, key stakeholder interviews and drop-in sessions which took place throughout the shire.
The consultation with the community gathered feedback on what people valued most in Colac Otway, and what priorities they wished to see in a Community Vision toward 2050.
Development and Community Services General Manager Ian Seuren said Council had received feedback from approximately 1,000 members of the community.
“In line with the requirements of the Local Government Act, Council has recruited a community panel to help us develop our Community Vision and other leading strategic documents.
“Council is taking the information from the wider community to the panel for panel members to review. Panel members will engage in a deliberative process which will help us finalise a community vision to guide Council’s decision making into the future.
“Recommendations from the panel will also provide direction on priorities for Council to undertake in the next four-year Council Plan.”
Mr Seuren said the panel members were representative of the demographics of the population of Colac Otway Shire.
“The community panel is made up of 26 people who are residents and/or ratepayers of Colac Otway Shire and were selected to represent the wider community.
“We have a geographic spread of participants, including some non-resident ratepayer participants, representing a broad age range from under 25s to residents who have lived in Colac Otway for more than 50 years.
“The members of the panel have a wide range of experiences, including stay-at-home mums, retirees, former military personnel, a builder, business owners, a taxi driver, farmers, cleaners, job seekers, carers, an architect and land developer, financial planner, administrator and mortgage broker.
“In terms of cultural background, the panel includes a person who identifies as Aboriginal, and one person who identifies as Torres Strait Islander. One panellist was born in Poland, another was born in the US, and another was born in Sri Lanka. Several other panellists have parents who were born in other countries including Scotland, Hungary and the UK.
“Our panel are enthusiastic and ready to contribute to the process. Council appreciates this is a significant contribution of people’s time and energy and we’re extremely grateful to each person who has agreed to participate.
“We hope that participants enjoy the experience and contributing to the development of their community. Council is very interested to hear the recommendations of the panel and where they think Council do a good job, and where we might do better.”
The community panel will present their recommendations to Colac Otway Shire Council in June.