23 September 2019

Bega Valley Community Engagement Strategy out for comment

| Ian Campbell
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Around 350 people gathered for the Festival of Open Minds in 2018. Photo: Chris Sheedy.

Photo: Chris Sheedy.

Communication and consultation between the community and Local Government is a constant sore point, neither side of the equation ever seems to be happy.

Bega Valley Shire Council is having a crack and improving the flow of information with a draft Community Engagement Strategy ironically out for public comment.

Manager of Community Connections, Anne Cleverley says the document sets out Council’s commitment and engagement principles.

“People will be able to have their say in a variety of ways, be confident their voice has been heard, and get feedback on how their input has been reflected in Council decisions and actions,” Ms Cleverley says.

“The strategy will enable the community to participate in the decisions and projects that shape our natural, built, economic and social environments.

“Through effective engagement, Council is better able to understand varied points of view, make informed decisions, and provide services that respond to community needs and aspirations.”

The draft Community Engagement Strategy provides a commitment from Council that the community will be well informed about issues and decisions that could affect their way of life and encourages them to make recommendations to Council.

It clarifies the ways in which the community can have their say and how input will be utilised to inform decisions and actions.

The draft Strategy also integrates several legislative requirements for community engagement in the one document.

A draft Community Participation Plan, that clearly explains how local people can engage with planning matters, forms a subsection of the draft Strategy.

Submissions close on Monday, October 21 at 5.00 pm, more information is available via Council’s website.

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