Have Your Say on Draft Community Hubs Strategy

Published on 20 March 2019


Baw Baw Shire Council is seeking further community feedback to help refine the draft Community Hubs Strategy and recommendations in the 5-year action plan.

The draft strategy titled “Connecting Communities Through Spaces” aims to generate a shared understanding of what constitutes a community hub, while also recognising that values and needs vary across different geographical settings in the Shire.

The draft strategy proposes an individual formula for each region, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. Eight common regions are identified, each determined by geographical assessment, demographic and socio-economic analysis and proximity to existing service centres. This approach also builds on existing place-based policies/strategies (such as master plans and town frameworks).

Regions and proposed key recommendations include:

Region 1 – Neerim South, Noojee and surrounds

  • Work with community to produce a widely supported proposal for additional community space that may be required in Neerim South.
  • Improve access and connectivity between existing spaces and places in Noojee.
  • Consider improving multi-use functionality in Noojee.

Region 2 – Erica, Rawson, Walhalla and surrounds

  • Consider improvement to mobile community services

Region 3 – Hill End and Willow Grove

  • Support the activation of existing spaces, particularly the Old School in Hill End.
  • Explore multi-use functionality of the Old School including the consideration of mobile services.

Region 4 – Longwarry

  • Consider recommendations made in the Longwarry UDF for Bennet Street Reserve.

Region 5 – Drouin and Warragul

  • Work with community on the desired size and service mix of a new integrated community hub facility in Drouin.
  • Create an integrated master plan for the civic precinct in Warragul.

Region 6 – Yarragon and surrounds

  • Consider opportunities to support community-led activation of the old Yarragon Primary School site.

Region 7 – Trafalgar and surrounds

  • Improve access and connectivity between existing spaces and places in Trafalgar

Region 8 – Towns of the Strzelecki Ranges

  • Consider improving the multi-use functionality of existing spaces and places to provide for mobile programs and services.

Key recommendations have been prioritised based on community feedback from previous engagement held in mid-2018 (10 community pop up sessions, a service provider workshop and extensive social media ‘Have Your Say’ campaign), current and projected future community needs, other existing related council plans/initiatives and the readiness of each action to be delivered.

Residents are encouraged to review the draft strategy in detail and provide feedback before Monday 15 April 2019. For full project details, please visit www.bawbawshire.vic.gov.au/HYSCommunityHubs

Following this community consultation, all responses will be collated to identify recurring themes and be further developed at an upcoming forum. All forms, submissions and correspondence will be acknowledged either by email or letter, to confirm receipt of feedback.

Development of a coordinated approach to community hubs and precincts in the municipality is a key priority in the Council Plan 2017-21.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Mikaela Power

“Baw Baw Shire Council is committed to supporting the vibrancy and character of our local communities through good planning, provision of community focussed services and facilities, and through support for local people, groups and organisations.

“Community spaces play a huge role in all these goals, that’s why we’ve developed the draft strategy. It’s all about taking a fresh look at our community spaces: How they are used, how they can be developed and how they can best connect communities.”

“This Have Your Say consultation provides an opportunity for you, as a Baw Baw community member, to help define the role that spaces play in connecting, supporting and nurturing our unique communities. I highly encourage everyone to review the draft strategy and provide your feedback.”

Quotes attributable to Cr Jessica O’Donnell

“We know no two communities are exactly the same, they each have different opportunities, strengths and needs for connectedness. This approach celebrates the uniqueness of each community and works to address needs in each region.”

“Once finalised, this strategy will help us best plan for future improvements to local spaces, including facility upgrades, improvements to existing public space, re-energising underused areas, and support for community-led initiatives.”

Quotes attributable to Cr Keith Cook

“The Community Hub motion was first moved by myself and one of my key reasons why I ran for Council.”

“This strategy aims to define and guide Council’s approach to community spaces - whether it’s improving multi-use functionality of existing spaces, activation of existing spaces to respond to community needs and aspirations, provision of new built-form spaces and improving access and connection to and between existing spaces and places.”

“Get involved and Have Your Say, Baw Baw! Help shape the community you live in and let us know your thoughts and feedback.”


Image: Eight regions of the draft Community Hubs Strategy.

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