News

Local government priorities

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March 07, 2018

Consultants Geraldine O’Connor and Dr Chris Budhan conducted the community workshop meeting.

 Priorities regarding the Mulwala community, and economic, environmental and governance  priorities conveyed by Mulwala residents last week were consistent with the recent telephone calls to 225 locals by consultants.

Aged care, healthcare, youth services, schools, and drug addiction services/law and order rated the top five out of 19 community priorities.
Federation Council has hired consultants Geraldine O’Connor and Dr Chris Budhan from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) to develop council’s draft Community Strategic Plan (CSP) for the next 10 years.
The draft plan is expected to be presented to council by mid March 2018 and council will place the plan on exhibition, calling for any submissions before considering adoption of the plan at a monthly meeting.
The Sydney-based consultants conducted the 90-minute community workshop in Mulwala Public School’s Library after a tasty 7.30am bacon and egg roll breakfast cooked by the school’s P & C, with assistance from Year 6 students.
Community feedback on ideas and priorities towards preparation of the CSP began with the telephone calls, with recipients decided by council staff.
“The survey achieved a geographically representative sample across the Federation Council area and varying ages,” Ms O’Connor told attendees.
“The Federation Council is particularly valued for its natural environment - particularly the Murray River - country lifestyle - particularly its tranquillity - and its strong community spirit.
“It is also valued for its community and other services, its close proximity to other centres such as Albury and Melbourne, and its parks and recreational opportunities.”
Employment, tourism, retail and business development were listed as the top economic prioritories out of a total of 15.
Parks and gardens, water management, placemaking (such as streetscape) and waste management featured strongly in respect of 18 listed environmental priorities.
Roads, pools, general infrastructure and facilities topped the priorities for infrastructure from the list of 21 priorities.
Overall, a long wish list was expressed by Mulwala and district residents, which included, but not necessarily in priority order: more footpaths, better drainage, a childcare centre preferably close to schools, more land for sale for youngsters, more affordable housing, more employment and more effort made to keep youth in town, less erosion in the lake, addressing cross-border anomalies, keeping our parkland and keeping plenty of trees, for example, Miss Ross Hill, having more trees, enhancing entrances to Mulwala, especially from Barooga and Savernake, extending Mulwala Streetscape (i.e. Melbourne Street) including a roundabout at the post office corner, building a Mulwala bypass and revising Lonsdale Reserve Master Plan.
Every view expressed by Mulwala and district residents was recorded by the consultancy team which will be considered for their draft plan to council. As will be the wishes of Mulwala Public School Year 6 students (see separate story).
The Mulwala workshop was the second of nine community workshops to be conducted by UTS last week, with the first one at Urana the previous day, at 6.30pm, which attracted 25 people.
The UTS consultants were delighted with the Mulwala attendance. “We’re really delighted by the generosity of people over their breakfast time to attend this workshop,” Ms O’Connor, who has 25 years experience in Local Government town planning with councils in the Hunter Valley and several years consultancy experience with UTS, told the Yarrawonga Chronicle.
“For so many of the community to turn out for this, and to contribute so keenly, was fantastic.”
A 12 noon workshop at Savernake followed Mulwala and was attended by five local residents who raised various topics including rural roads and the need for School of Arts and Savernake Public School support, as well as discussing changing times for Savernake people on the farms.

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