June 11th, 2022Community assembly feedback
A Community Assembly formed to guide key decisions in the development of the Macedon Ranges Open Space Strategy has now completed its deliberations and feedback on future priorities.
Assembly members met on 21 and 28 May 2022 at Jubilee Hall in Macedon to develop their understanding of the Open Space Strategy process and to set community priorities for the future of the shire’s parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities and conservation areas.
Twenty-seven community members were appointed to the assembly following an open selection process independently managed by deliberative engagement specialists i.e. community.
Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung elder Uncle Ringo Terrick welcomed the Assembly to Country. He spoke of the importance of open natural spaces as places of connection and community and inclusion of traditional owner values related to open space.
Director Environment and Planning Rebecca Stockfeld said project consultants and Council planners explained issues and opportunities vital to the strategy and how members’ views would be considered by Council.
“Assembly members were briefed on the challenges Council faces in managing open space. This includes the pressures of growth, increasing demand and competition for open space, and our changing climate,” she said.
Results from recent community consultation and perspectives of the broader community were shared with the assembly, as a starting point for discussions.
Facilitator Todd Beavis from i.e.community said the assembly recruitment process had delivered a diverse group that worked well together to represent the community. “We achieved a good representation of the Macedon Ranges community, managing to hit all our key target demographics,” he said.
Assembly members worked together to set the community priorities for the shire. They also explored seven primary townships of the Macedon Ranges Shire in greater detail. The assembly gave feedback on primary uses of open space and what trends and developments need to be considered locally. They also used a decision-making framework to test a number of scenarios designed to assist with setting priorities for the strategy.
“The group worked really well together, with some great energy and collaboration,” Mr Beavis said.
“We are very appreciative of the efforts of the Assembly in remaining committed as a group and providing clear recommendations to our project team throughout this deliberate engagement process,” Ms Stockfeld said.
The Mayor and several Councillors attended the final day’s session on 28 May to meet with participants and reinforce Council’s support for the process.
Reports on the outcomes from the Open Space Community Assembly will be presented in a formal briefing to Councillors in late June.
Assembly recommendations, along with all other public feedback and survey responses, will be used to inform the draft Open Space Strategy being developed by consultants and the project team.
“This draft strategy is due to be considered by Council later this year,” Ms Stockfeld said. “Further public consultation on the draft will be conducted before the final Open Space Strategy is refined and presented to Council for adoption.”
If you would like to receive project updates, please register at mrsc.vic.gov.au/open-space or call the Strategic Planning team on (03) 5422 0333.