Community Planning in
Learning by doing ….
A presentation for the MAV Community
Tuesday September 12th 2006
The past six years...
• Community Planning for approximately 6
• Focus on smaller townships [not Ararat]
• So far … 13 towns have participated in
• towns vary in size from 80 ‐500 people
• Originally… economic rationalism,
amalgamations, us and them, build bridges,
build trust, build community
• Now… its our role, its our responsibility, its
State Gov’t Support to kick things
• ABCD Project: 1999 ‐2000, 18 month
• ACB Project: 2003‐2006, 3 year Community
Support Fund [finished officially in May]
Where are we at with the Plans?
• 10 Community Plans [13 towns]
• P/T Community Building Facilitator
• Quarterly Community Forums
• Local community developers
Willaura ‐yr 1
• Streetscape/Town Plan ‐ main St,historical
precinct, park and wetlands
• Playground ‐ disability access as
recommended in councils open space and rec
• Christmas decorations
Lake Bolac …
• Infrastructure ‐ Sewerage scheme, Lake Management
Plan, Maintenance of existing facilities, streetscape
works‐ Glenelg highway crossroads precinct
• Health ‐ Community Bus, aged care units and
• Economy ‐ employment‐ support existing business
and encourage new , industrial area expansion
• Education ‐ raise profile of college, increase pool
usage, civic pride campaign
• Commercial activity attraction
• grass cut in public areas
• bush cemetery
• how to work with halls gap and compliment
• Beautification of main street
• improve highway signage to facilitate access to off
• shop local campaign
• cycling lane ‐ regional
• community events and celebrations
• revitalise school, pub and store [village well??]
• encourage greater participation
• development of Wimmera river picnic areas
• Networks and links being created
• Community voice and involvement in
decision making and planning
• Respect ‐ between council and communities
• More people involved and active in their
• Projects being implemented ‐ services,
infrastructure, maintenance, social capital
• Council and communities acknowledge and
accept [to varying degrees] this process and a
part of everyday business
How we did it….
• 1st time ‐ external facilitator leading
communities though it
• 2nd time ‐ communities leading communities
with facilitator’s support ‐ [local community developers,
training, $$$, childcare, petrol,fun and food….]
• Building trust and acceptance ‐ in people, in council, in
communities, in the process
• This is what we do now..organisational change,
structural change, community change [roles and
responsibilities], not a project any more
• volunteer burnout
• losing face
• hearing all the voices?
Where to now for us?….
Council Plan/Budget cycle ….
• Adopt the Plans formally ???
• Identify specific projects in CAP’s that can be
supported outright by council and state these in
council plan and annually in budget
• Ongoing projects [eg. Business dev] ‐ write these into
council plan under relevant strategy and specifically
identify and state our role whether it is a
support/facilitatory or other role
• annual pool of funds for grant matching ‐ allocate a
$$$ amount annually for projects dependant on what
funding programs are around
• Place Based Committee ‐ Mirror what is happening at
state level. Establishment of an internal “place based”
committee that is cross departmental .
• Keep role of Community Building Facilitator
• Continually review and develop plans
Building into community processes ???
State/federal government change...
• How integral are the Community Action Plans to
your Councils strategic planning? Where do they fit?
How far do you want to take the process?
• What is the relationship between these plans and
each departments priorities? Where’s the link?
• If we are serious ‐ how can we support towns in
participating in planning and decision making?
• What are the risks associated with prioritising CAPS
and not individual group priorities?