THE final chance to make comments in support of, for fine-tuning or criticising South Gippsland Shire’s first Sustainability Strategy ends on Monday February 28.
Council’s Sustainability Planner Christine Hamilton said that the wide-ranging consultation and development process had “been a long one but a good one” and was consequently not surprised that as at February 11, Council had only received four submissions on the final version of the document.
“The submissions so far have been from both an organisation and from individuals,” she commented.
“No-one has said it was a waste of time; the range of comments has been mostly in agreement with the intent of the Strategy, so that’s really positive.
“They are primarily asking for more support of x or to add in y.”
For anyone concerned about the cost of the process, Ms Hamilton reminded that when Council signed the Victorian Sustainability Accord, it was committed to producing a Sustainability Strategy that would be used as a basis for applying for funding to help carry out Council’s sustainability leadership role in the community and to undertake some projects to improve sustainability in its own functions and operation.
The Strategy is divided up in the following key strategic areas:
- Council as a Sustainable Leader, Advocate, Facilitator and Service Provider;
- Building Resilient, Adaptive and Engaged Communities;
- Sustainable Economy
- Sustainable Agriculture;
- Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management;
- Climate Change, Peak Oil and Carbon Neutrality; and
- Building Strong and Effective Sustainable Development Partnerships and Strategies.
Even as recently as Council’s December 22 2010 meeting, not all Councillors were convinced about whether sustainability should be a core Council interest or not.
Others are a little unsure about how this relatively new issue should be approached, and some are passionately certain.
Consequently, submitted comments supporting or repudiating the thrust of the document would also provide ongoing guidance to Council on how the wider community feels, even though a large number of submissions were received on the previously exhibited version, via surveys, at community workshops and from stakeholder discussions.
Council’s adopted draft Sustainability Strategy can be accessed by a link from Council’s home page.
Submissions must be in writing and are preferred using a ‘track changes’ word document format supplied via the web site.
Hard copies can also be obtained from Council – call Council reception on 5662 9777.
For specific inquiries contact Ms Hamilton on 5662 9314.