Cam­paspe Shire ready for the tough changes

Campaspe News - - NEWS -

AS PART of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act re­view, the Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment will make it com­pul­sory for coun­cils to de­velop four-year plans with their com­mu­ni­ties.

But Cam­paspe Shire might not have to change much.

It is al­ready run­ning off the 2013-2017 plan and work­ing to­wards form­ing the 2018-2022 plan.

De­pend­ing on ex­actly what the gov­ern­ment in­tro­duces next year will de­pend on how much coun­cil will have to change.

Coun­cil’s general man­ager econom- ic and com­mu­nity development Keith Oberin said the 2013-2017 plan was de­vel­oped with ex­ten­sive com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.

‘‘We held a num­ber of en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties in­clud­ing Cam­paspe con­ver­sa­tion day in five lo­ca­tions around the shire (Echuca, Rochester, Kyabram, Lock­ing­ton and Rush­worth),’’ he said.

The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment un­veiled its first ma­jor de­ci­sion re­cently. The change, the gov­ern­ment said, would give res­i­dents more say in their coun­cil’s pri­or­i­ties, ser­vices and bud­gets — putting lo­cal res­i­dents first and en­sur­ing ac­count­abil­ity at elec­tion time.

Mr Oberin said Cam­paspe re­viewed the plan each year and made sure it was proac­tive in com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the com­mu­nity.

He said coun­cil also re­ports progress on the coun­cil plan quar­terly in the coun­cil agenda.

‘‘These re­ports in­di­cate the progress of ac­tiv­i­ties funded in the cur­rent year bud­get which seek to achieve the vi­sion as ex­pressed in the coun­cil plan,’’ Mr Oberin said.

‘‘Coun­cil is cur­rently plan­ning the en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties to sup­port the development of the 2017-2021 coun­cil plan. We try and en­sure that the plan re­flects the views and is­sues within our com­mu­nity.’’

The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment said the need for lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties to have a stronger say in guid­ing coun­cil di­rec­tions was a ma­jor theme dur­ing con­sul­ta­tion on the new Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Act.

The gov­ern­ment said this was the first step in the La­bor Gov­ern­ment’s push to make sure res­i­dents play a big­ger role in their lo­cal coun­cil.

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