Town plans empower communities

Article image - Town plans empower communities Kangaroo Inn area planning committee

Over an eighteen month period Wattle Range Council, South Australia, has developed fourteen community/town plans by working closely with all the towns and settlement communities within Council boundaries.

Projects resulting from the plans have featured in two consecutive Annual Business Plans and are an integral part of the 2018-2021 Strategic Plan.

The Community Town Plans (CTP) gives local government a better understanding of the detailed needs of each township.

Many of these smaller communities do not have progress associations or business chambers and have often not had a united direction.

Participants attending the meetings have come from a wide cross-section of the community, frequently including medical clinics, hospitals, education, tourism, farming, retail and home based business, and major industries.

The idea for the CTP was generated during Council’s Strategic Plan development process and each plan been driven internally by Council’s Community Development Officer, Sarah Marzec.

The Kangaroo Inn Community Area Plan was unique as it was facilitated by students at the school.

There are no additional commercial activities at Kangaroo Inn - the closest town is Millicent 40km away. The Student Representative Committee (SRC) facilitated the planning and consultation with other students, assisted by the Leadership team led by Principal Annie Matthews.

At the Community meeting each table had a SRC representative leading the discussion and another collated the information into notes.

The program has resulted in Council gaining a greater understanding of the needs and priorities of these communities, a stronger community spirit and sense of collaboration and an acknowledgment by ratepayers of Council’s willingness to work with them and listen to their views.