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Open space future

March 27th, 2022Open space future

Now is your chance to get involved in shaping the future of open spaces in the Macedon Ranges Shire. Council is calling for expressions of interest to participate in a Community Assembly to guide key decisions about the future of our parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities and conservation areas.

Now is your chance to get involved in shaping the future of open spaces in the Macedon Ranges Shire.
Council is calling for expressions of interest to participate in a Community Assembly to guide key decisions about the future of our parks, playgrounds, sporting facilities and conservation areas.
Recruitment for the new Open Space Community Assembly has now launched with expressions of interest closing at midnight on 8 April. The Community Assembly will be asked to consider the outcomes of the public consultation process which runs until 8 April.
You can provide input to the process by sharing your views on parks, sporting fields and conservation areas within the shire and the role they play in areas such as the health and wellbeing of the community and protecting the natural environment of the shire on Council’s Have Your Say website.
The new strategy will provide clear direction for planning, management and delivery of public open space in the shire, including conservation uses and developer contributions from new residential areas. These issues directly affect many local community members, park users, recreation, sporting and environmental groups and volunteers.
Mayor, Cr Jennifer Anderson said the Community Assembly will provide recommendations to guide the development of the Open Space Strategy.
“Open space is one of the most significant land uses provided by Council for everyone to access. Deliberative engagement provides the opportunity for Council and the community to work together to make important decisions about open space in our shire.
“The Community Assembly is a randomly selected group of around 25 residents, who reflect the diversity of our community. Members will be independently recruited and chosen to reflect our population, including age, gender, location and other characteristics.
“I encourage everyone to consider getting involved. This is an opportunity to work closely with other members of the community to engage in how we can best manage our open space to meet both our current and potential future needs, whilst acknowledging that we have limited resources to do so,” she said.
The Community Assembly will meet for an evening briefing and two full-day sessions in May 2022. Members of the Assembly will receive a total honorarium of $400, in recognition of their commitment.
Assembly selection will be managed by i.e. community, an independent organisation, which will also guide and support the Assembly members through the process. All expressions of interest will be treated in accordance with Council’s privacy policy.
Cr Anderson said Council owns and manages more than 900 hectares of open space including public parks, waterways, recreation reserves and bushland conservation reserves.
“Over time we have seen an increasing desire for quality open spaces for both formal and informal recreation, conservation, environmental connectivity, and social gatherings.
“Members of the Assembly will learn about the challenges Council faces in managing open space, including the pressures of residential growth, increasing desire and competition for varying uses of open space, and our changing climate,” she said.
“After hearing from experts, reviewing initial community feedback and discussing and assessing different options in depth, the Assembly will make recommendations on how to best create and manage our open space.
“The Assembly will help determine how Council responds to the priorities, needs and expectations of the Macedon Ranges community. Their recommendations will then be considered in the development of the draft Open Space Strategy, which will then be made available for feedback from the rest of the community.
“This process provides multiple opportunities for members of the Macedon Ranges community to have their say on such an important topic to us all,” she said.
How to get involved
If you or anyone in your household (16 years or older) is interested in being a part of the Open Space Community Assembly, please register your interest at the link available on Council’s website. Registrations close at midnight on Friday 8 April. Note: Councillors, Council employees and their immediate families are not eligible to register. For more information, to register, and to Have Your Say, visit mrsc.vic.gov.au/yoursay 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.



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