Shaping the future

Yarra Ranges mayor Sophie Todorov. Picture: ON FILE

By Sophie Todorov

Over recent months, we’ve asked the community to share their thoughts, expertise and experiences with us, as we begin shaping our Council Plan for the next four years.

Quite simply, this plan is one of the most important documents that Council has; it will shape our goals and our activities, how we manage spaces and our budget.

It helps us plan for our incredible natural environment, including the people, animals and plants who call this wonderful region home.

Through online surveys, community pop-ups and our recent summits, we’ve engaged with more than 800 community members in person, received more than 700 submissions online and gathered more than 100 community members and group representatives at three summits.

We’ve captured detailed feedback, which will be invaluable as we start to draft our plan.

But this was just the first step.

We currently have expressions of interests open for community panel sessions – we’re putting together a panel that reflects the Yarra Ranges, its diverse range of age, gender, race, languages, income, education and other criteria.

The panel will review what we’ve heard so far, ask questions, consider and debate some of the more difficult decisions Council is facing.

We’ll then ask the panel to make recommendations, which we’ll bring back to the community for more feedback.

Applications for the panel close on 30 June, for four sessions beginning 17 July, so I’d strongly encourage anyone interested in sharing their thoughts to visit to find out more and to register their interest.

Participants will be compensated for their time.

I look forward to seeing many more community members engage in this process, and to see that feedback represented in our next Draft Plan.