12 October 2019

Eurobodalla Community Engagement Framework out for comment

| Ian Campbell
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Eurobodalla Shire Council HQ @ Moruya

Eurobodalla Shire Council, Moruya. Photo: ESC.

Think Eurobodalla Shire Council can engage better with the community on planning matters? Council’s draft Community Engagement Framework and Participation Plan is now on public exhibition.

Council began research on developing a community engagement framework in April 2015, with the aim of identifying how Council’s current practices could be improved.

Council’s Audit Committee recommended Council seek independent advice and undertake an analysis to determine the best way to improve communication and engagement.

KJA consultancy was engaged and set about interviewing community representatives and councillors.

That work was exhibited as the draft community engagement charter, draft framework and draft planning tool in mid-2016 to seek feedback from the wider community. Council says this feedback was incorporated into the final documents which were adopted by Council in February 2017.

“The existing Community Engagement Framework, adopted in 2017, has been updated to include new legislative requirements for how and when Council engages the community through its planning functions,” a Council spokesperson explains.

“It replaces the existing Advertising and Notification Code and includes public exhibition timeframes for development applications, amendments to local environment plans and creating or updating development control plans.

“The draft plan will be on public exhibition until Thursday 7 November.”

Council says its intent is to “engage with the community, using effective engagement practices, on issues and plans affecting the region and activities that have significant impact on the community.”

Copies of the draft Community Engagement Framework and Participation Plan are available at Council’s Moruya Administration Centre, libraries in Batemans Bay, Moruya and Narooma and online at the Council’s website.

The updated plan follows protracted engagement with the community over a number of years regarding the shire’s Rural Lands Strategy and more recent deliberations concerning two significant developments around Batemans Bay.

Submissions must be received by Council by 4:30 pm on Thursday, November 7.

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