NORTHERN Grampians Shire Council is calling on community members to provide input into council's new Municipal Strategic Statement.
Council is conducting a series of drop in sessions in Stawell and Halls Gap next week to provide community members with an opportunity to have their say on the draft Municipal Strategic Statement.
The draft was adopted at council's meeting in St Arnaud on August 4 after some debate. Council voted in favour of placing the document on public display for the purposes of receiving comments on all aspects of the plan.
The Halls Gap session will be held on Tuesday, August 26, from 3pm until 5pm at the Centenary Hall, while Stawell residents are invited to have their say on the document on Tuesday, August 26, from 6pm until 8pm at Council's Western Highway Office.
Community members are welcome to drop in at any stage between these times.
The Municipal Strategic Statement is an important component of the Northern Grampians Planning Scheme and links strategic policy with local planning provisions.
It also outlines the key strategic planning, land use and development objectives for the Northern Grampians Shire.
The document is used in the preparation of council policy, funding submissions and by the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in making decisions.
Northern Grampians Shire Planning Committee member, Councillor Tony Driscoll, said council is considering key changes to support the growth of jobs and services across the municipality, with the aim of achieving long-term sustainable economic growth.
"Northern Grampians Shire contains vibrant larger towns as well as a network of lively smaller townships and communities," Cr Driscoll said.
"It is important that we plan long term to ensure we're able to develop the area, not just for buildings, but for people, for jobs, for growth and to preserve the high quality-of-life we enjoy here."
Following the consultation process, a report will be presented to council.
Authorisation will then be sought from Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy to prepare a Planning Scheme Amendment to update the current Municipal Strategic Statement with the community's feedback.
Council's Director of Infrastructure and Environment, Sanjay Manivasagasivam, is encouraging Northern Grampians Shire residents, businesses, property owners and people employed in the shire to provide their feedback on the proposed strategy.
"Council officers are conducting an extensive community consultation process to provide everyone in the community with the opportunity to review the Municipal Strategic Statement and make a submission," he said.
"It will be an unparalleled opportunity to have a say on the future direction of the shire."
Submissions to the review must be made in writing, and can be made via council's website at www.ngshire.vic.gov.au/mss or in hard copy on a form available from the Stawell Town Hall.