With the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions across the state, face-to-face community consultation and engagement is making a comeback as one of the Council’s ways of communicating with the community. While COVID-19 precautions and best practices will remain in place during any face-to-face consultation, a mix of “traditional” and “online” interactions will be essential for future community engagement. The first taxi out of line in this spirit is the community consultation requested for the Community Strategic Plan 2040.
“The previous board, at its meeting on October 25, 2021, decided to update and extend the current community strategic plan and supporting documents for the next 12 months, with extensive community consultation and additional modifications. made before July 2023,” said the mayor of Dubbo Regional Council. Matthew Dickerson. “This was in response to the high number of COVID-19 cases in the region at the time, with the Council prioritizing operations and communications with the community on the importance of staying home, staying safe and get vaccinated.”
“With the easing of restrictions, it is essential that we return to restore better community consultation; updating and reviewing the community strategic plan is a key project. Also essential, we conduct this face-to-face consultation where possible and provide this “human interaction”, while offering an online option and using available technology to better interact with the community.
“Advisors play a key role in advocating for community services and facilities. To better understand the needs and aspirations of the community, councilors recognize the importance of face-to-face communications, Mayor Dickerson said. “That is why, as a united group of elected representatives, we are committed to ensuring that people can speak to us directly without fear or favor, and we can ‘advocate’ for the future needs and aspirations of the community through a critical framework like the community strategic plan.”
The Dubbo Area Council Community Strategic Plan is the highest level strategy that guides and influences the actions and initiatives of the council in partnership with the community, state and federal governments through 2040. It is essentially a a community-driven “blueprint” for the council to function. and advocate on behalf of the whole community.
“In reality, 2040 isn’t that far away,” said chief growth planning officer Steven Jennings. “Children who are currently in primary school will then be in their mid-twenties, some of whom by 2040 will be raising families or considering starting families. Some of our older children can now pursue careers that take them further , but they may return later in life and bring their skills and experience to the area.
“At that time, the region will be a very different place, just as the region today is very different from 20 years ago. The plans we are contributing to and developing now will support our future generations who will inhabit the Dubbo region.
“Similarly, today’s older generation can play an important role in helping us prepare our communities for the next generation that we will see 20 years from now. In reality, it’s most of us who are currently halfway or at the end of our professional careers,” Jennings said. “What will the area offer the next generation of retirees or older citizens? Will there be the right services and infrastructure in place? We all have a role to play in shaping the future of the next generation, as well as planning for the future needs of our own generation.
For more information on Dubbo Area Council’s Community Strategic Plan 2040 and how to participate in the community consultation process, visit the council’s website www.dubbo.nsw.gov.au. Face-to-face and online community consultation will take place throughout March, with submissions on the draft updated 2040 Community Strategic Plan currently on public display which will close on Friday, April 8, 2022.