PEOPLE from across South Gippsland Shire are invited to comment on the drafts of eight strategic plans covering nearly every aspect of the municipality’s functions, duties, and endeavours by Sunday May 15, 2022.
The draft plans range from present and future money matters including the next annual budget and rates, what the community wants, and managing wastewater and assets, through to arts and culture.
The Shire’s nine councillors unanimously endorsed the documents at the open ordinary council meeting held in Leongatha on Wednesday April 20, 2022, making them available for public feedback from Thursday April 21.
The eight draft plans are:
- Draft Community Vision 2040
- Draft Council Plan 2022 – 2026
- Draft Arts, Culture and Creative Industries Strategy 2022 – 2026
- Draft Annual Budget 2022/23
- Draft Long-Term Financial Plan
- Draft Revenue and Rating Plan 2022 – 2026
- Draft Domestic Wastewater Management Plan 2022 – 2026
- Draft Asset Plan 2022/23 to 2031/32
A link to the draft plans along with one and two-page summaries of each document may be found on the first page of the Shire’s website at www.southgippsland.vic.gov.au under the heading “Integrated Plans Now On Exhibition”.
Part of the community feedback period takes the form of an online survey, which is also located on the Shire’s website, while several more face-to-face engagement sessions will also be conducted.
Councillors and shire staff are keen to meet with and to talk to as many community members as possible and they will be present at the following dates, times and places:
- Thursday April 28 from 2 pm to 3.30 pm: Coffee with a Councillor at Tanderra Park, Meeniyan.
- Friday April 29 from 4 pm to 6 pm: Pop-up at Reconnect All-Ages Festival, Leongatha.
- Saturday April 30 from 8 am to 10 am: Pop-up at Mirboo North Community Market.
- Saturday April 30 from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm: Pop-up at Toora vs Stony Creek Football and Netball Matches at Toora Recreation Reserve.
- Monday May 2 from 10 am to 11.30 am: Coffee with a Councillor at Loch Public Hall.
- Monday May 2 from 2 pm to 3.30 pm: Coffee with a Councillor at Tarwin Lower Mechanics Institute Hall.
- Thursday May 5 from 4.30 pm to 6 pm: Town Hall Drop-in Session at Coal Creek Community Park and Museum, Korumburra.
- Friday May 6 from 10 am: Pop-up at Victorian Livestock Exchange Cattle Sale, Koonwarra Saleyards.
- Sunday May 8 from 10 am to 12 noon: Pop-up at Kongwak Market
- Saturday May 14 from 9 am to 1 pm: Pop-up at Fish Creek Tea Cosy Festival.
South Gippsland Shire Mayor Mohya Davies said “this is the largest community engagement campaign this Council has ever undertaken.
“Your feedback has been invaluable in contributing to the drafting of these plans, and we have used your aspirations to strategise a clear path forward,” she said.
“Now, these drafts are being handed over to you to make sure that we have truly heard you and provide you with another chance to tell us what is most important to you.
“I strongly encourage everyone to complete the survey and even come and see councillors at a face-to-face event for a chat,” Cr Davies said.
“We can’t wait to see you all and talk you through these important documents.”
The April 2022 council meeting began with a suspension of standing orders to allow Mayor Davies to present some background information on how the integrated planning process was done.
She also explained how councillors have connected with the community to develop the draft plans, in particular the Community Vision 2040.
Mayor Davies spoke about the strong commitment of both councillors and staff, the deliberation and preparation involved in the development of the drafts, and the current community engagement campaign.
“We want to hear what you think about these key plans for South Gippsland to ensure they accurately reflect the needs of our community.
“Today really is a big day for South Gippsland,” she said.
“These plans will influence how we provide services and facilities, both now and in the future.”
Mayor Davies told the meeting that significant community consultation was undertaken before the plans were developed.
The consultation included hearing from more than 900 individuals between December 2021 and January 2022, who contributed a total of 2,939 comments that were collated into common themes and interest areas.
Nine place-based community pop-ups and two school visits were also held from December 2021 to February 2022.
The Shire’s Regional Profile Project survey collected the thoughts of more than 2,000 households between February 2022 and April 2022, providing an in-time snapshot of the likes, dislikes, interests and challenges of the South Gippsland community.
Mayor Davies said 162 people had applied to be a member of the Shire’s community panel, with 29 “randomly selected on a demographic and a geographic basis from across the Shire who worked alongside the nine councillors.
“All of the people who have been involved in the panel discussions have made a huge commitment to the process,” she said.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has joined us on this journey so far and to urge those who have something to say, to do so before Sunday May 15, 2022.”
Deputy Mayor Nathan Hersey said a lot of work as gone into the Community Vision 2040 along with the other draft plans.
“The world is run by those who show up,” he said.
“We don’t want people to look at the final documents and say, ‘they don’t represent me’, so please, come and speak with us.”
The draft plans will be finalised after May 15, 2022 and will be presented to the South Gippsland Shire Council for final adoption at the open council meeting to be held at Leongatha on Wednesday June 29, 2022, starting at 2 pm.
To fill out the community survey, view the calendar of events and draft Plans, see yoursay.southgippsland.vic.gov.au/provide-plan-feedback