Creating a new Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire

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You're invited, Baw Baw. Every four years, each incoming Council must work with the community to develop a new Council Plan. This year, in addition to developing a new Council Plan all Victorian Shires must also deliver a Community Vision. 

The Community Vision describes the community’s aspirations for the future (20-30 years) of the Shire. Having a Community Vision is a requirement of the Local Government Act 2020. The Act also outlines that Council’s four-year Council Plan and 10-year Financial Plan must address the Community Vision. This means that the Baw Baw Shire Community Vision will guide development of the Council and Financial Plans.

The development of Baw Baw Shire's Community Vision has been informed by:

  1. Community Survey - Over 300 responses were received and have informed the Community Panel discussions.
  2. Focus Groups -Group discussions to explore specific perspectives with 35 participants over six sessions took place in March. Included a range of stakeholder groups from across Baw Baw Shire, such as new residents, environmental groups, business groups, community service organisations, rural and remote residents and Councillors.
  3. Community Panel -A 42 member panel was recruited from over 120 applicants to reflect the age, gender, culture, location, ability and employment status of the Shire. The Panel participated in four virtual sessions and one full day in person session - over 16 hours of discussion, reflection and development.

Click below to find out more.

Focus Groups

Council engaged Spark Strategy to support in the development of the Community Vision and creation of the new Council Plan. Council and Spark ran eight targeted focus group sessions in March 2021, ensuring that the many diverse thoughts and ideas of our community had the opportunity to be heard. 

Insights from the Focus Group sessions were compiled and presented to the Community Panel with the outcomes of the Community Survey in order to develop a Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire. 

Community Panel

About the Community Panel 

Baw Baw Shire Council brought together a community panel of 42 people from across the Shire to contribute to a Community Vision for our future.

The panel was independently recruited in a random-selection process to ensure there is a diverse cross-section of people involved.

Together, the panel discussed the community’s goals and ideas. The panel’s recommendations were compiled to create a draft Community Vision, which has also influenced the draft Council Plan and Long Term Financial Plan. These documents will be made available to the community for feedback.

How the Community Panel worked

This was a ‘deliberative’ community engagement process, which means the panel:

  • Discussed the issues, challenges and opportunities in depth.
  • Heard what the broader community thinks Baw Baw Shire should be like in the future.
  • Considered a wider range of information and hear from expert speakers.

Expert independent facilitators from Spark Strategy supported the community panel members with different viewpoints to work together respectfully and to reach a shared position on the future of Baw Baw Shire. It was not an open public meeting format where loud voices can sometimes dominate.

Community Survey

The Community Survey is now closed. It was open to the entire Baw Baw community until 16 April 2021.

Outcomes of the Community Survey along with insights from the Focus Group sessions were compiled and presented to the Community Panel in order to develop a Community Vision for Baw Baw Shire.

What happens next?

The Draft Community Vision will be released for public exhibition in July - August, allowing the wider community to provide feedback and further refine the presented information and ideas. 

The final Community Vision, Council Plan and Finance Plan will be adopted by Council prior to 31 October 2021, in line with the Local Government Act 2020.

Contact Us

We're here to help! If you have any questions or feedback about the Community Vision please contact our team via email or by calling 1300 229 229.