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Let Council know your views

dougkSun, 11/02/2018 - 10:41pm

There is a little over a week remaining to respond to the draft MidCoast Community Strategic Plan. Council will use this plan as a guide in its decision-making. It is up to us to respond if we want the direction Council takes to be relevant to us.

After the merger, a “What is MidCoast” project produced the following vision statement:

We aspire to be a place of unique environmental significance where our quality of life and sense of community is balanced by sustainable and sensitive development, which fosters economic growth

Five broad Values have been drawn from this Vision Statement. The plan then expands further on these.

But is this statement really an appropriate vision for MidCoast? Does it resonate with your expectations? Is it relevant to the many small MidCoast villages like ours? Here are a few of my thoughts after looking at this vision statement in more detail:

We aspire to be a place of unique environmental significance

We already live in an area of environmental significance – we therefore don't need to aspire to be such a place. We perhaps need to aspire to maintain it, to treasure it.

where our quality of life and sense of community is balanced by sustainable and sensitive development,

Improving our quality of life and sense of community is important. And it is also important that development is sustainable and sensitive. But it is not a balancing act. Perhaps sustainable and sensitive development could be directed towards enhancing our quality of life and sense of community.

which fosters economic growth

Just why does the community Vision Statement have to be directed towards fostering economic growth? Certainly economic growth would be significant to those with businesses in the region, to the Chambers of Commerce. But is it an end-point appropriate to the many of us living in small communities? Shouldn't the end-goal really be quality of life and sense of community? And if the vision statement itself were misplaced, then the strategic plan and the actions that Council take in the future may not be in the best interests of the members of the almost 200 MidCoast communities.

These are the five values derived from the above vision statement:

We value … our unique, diverse and culturally rich communities

Our diverse communities offer active and social opportunities, are safe and are places where we work together with a creative focus acknowledging our rich history and culture.

We value … a connected community

Our roads, footpaths and technology are upgraded and well maintained so we can easily and safely connect with each other.

We value … our environment

Our natural environment is protected and enhanced, while we maintain a delicate balance with our growing urban centres and managing our resources wisely.

We value … our thriving and growing economy

We are a place where people want to live, work and play, business is resilient and adaptable to change by utilising knowledge and expertise that supports innovation.

We value … leadership and shared vision

We work in partnerships towards a shared vision, that provides value for money and is customer focused.

Do take the time to read the full draft plan and give Council your feedback by 23 February.



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