The Mirror News

Planning a future for Fishy and Buffalo

STREETSCAPING, community gardens, special events and waste water management were given top priority at a recent community plan workshop for the Buffalo and Fish Creek communities.

The workshop at Fish Creek on Sunday May 6 gave an opportunity for residents of Buffalo and Fish Creek to come together to help plan for their future.

The day began with a free BBQ catered by the Meeniyan Red Cross, with the Community Plan Workshop kicking off at 12.30pm.

The community planning process began in Buffalo and Fish Creek late last year when the Lower Tarwin Valley District Project, a South Gippsland Shire Council and Gardiner Foundation partnership project, distributed information and invited expressions of interest from the community to establish a Buffalo and Fish Creek Community Planning Working Group.

The working group met fortnightly over a number of months to help promote community engagement and consultation and plan for the May Community Plan Workshop.

Community consultation included collating suggestions and project ideas from previous community consultation, surveying both primary and secondary school students, and providing suggestion boxes at several locations across both communities for residents to submit their ideas. All suggestions and ideas were included in the workshop and participants were given an opportunity to indicate their priorities.

Amongst the projects receiving the most votes were waste water management (sewerage and drainage), streetscaping, special events and community gardens. Workshop participants then broke up into teams to help develop the projects and identify actions such as contacting South Gippsland Water and organising a public information forum regarding sewerage for Fish Creek.

Lower Tarwin Valley Community Facilitator for South Gippsland Shire Council, Marzia Maurilli, said that the community plans are community owned and developed in partnership with communities to help provide future direction and identify resources and opportunities.

Community groups in the Lower Tarwin Valley Districts Project have the opportunity to apply for project funds through the Gardiner Foundation’s Strengthening Small Dairy Communities for identified community projects.

All project ideas put forward during the community planning process are included in the final community plan as a ‘bank of ideas.’ Community members and groups are encouraged to go to the ‘bank of ideas’ in their community plan at any stage to develop projects that are of interest.

“Projects can get developed to a point and put back in the ‘bank of ideas’ for further development at a later stage,” explained Ms Maurilli.

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Buffalo Fish Creek Community Plan and how they can access the ‘bank of ideas’ please contact the Fish Creek Community Development Group or the Lower Tarwin Valley Community Facilitator at South Gippsland Shire Council, tel. 5662 9805 or email marziam@southgippsland.vic.gov.au.

The Buffalo Fish Creek Community Plan will be publicly launched late June.

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