Campaspe Shire ready for the tough changes
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.