How do I find out what is happening to parks and recreation facilities in my area?

    The strategy divides the towns and villages in our Local Government Area into planning precincts. Our region is diverse, and the needs and desires of our community vary. The facility inventory results from the recreation needs analysis and proposed actions are presented for each planning precinct. The document contents page will help guide you to the area of your interest.

    How will Council afford to provide high quality facilities?

    The strategy aims to set a framework for decision making around recreation facility development and provision that will lead to a more sustainable outcome. A recreation network that provides high quality, well utilised, and multi-purpose facilities align with best practice recreation and open space planning principles. 

    While the strategy identifies some areas that need additional recreation facilities, there are also areas with a surplus. One of the key objectives for recreation and open space provision is quality rather than quantity. The action plan focuses on improving what we have and ensuring there are management plans in place that clearly identify the priorities for improvement and arrangements for maintenance.    

    What were the key items raised throughout consultation with stakeholder groups?

    • Many of our recreation assets are in poor condition
    • Management of recreation facilities lack coordination and consistency across the region
    • No guidance on project priorities
    • Arrangements for booking facilities is not clear or easy to follow
    • The current budget and resources to facilities is unsustainable
    • Volunteer participation is decreasing
    • Many facilities don’t meet Australian Standards
    • Some multi-use facilities are at capacity and don’t meet the needs of the community whilst others are under-utilised
    • Playing seasons have extended, which cause user conflict issues between summer and winter sports
    • Demand on trail networks for informal recreation and tourism opportunities is increasing

    What are the key recommendations from the Strategy?

    Some of the key actions include:

    • Development of Masterplans- to develop masterplans for our multi-use recreation sites, including showgrounds and sporting fields. Other site specific planning will identify project priorities and strategic solutions to assist with sustainable management outcomes and better coordination of volunteer needs.
    • Development of a recreational control group-to improve internal communication between Council departments
    • Develop a communications package- to inform Council staff, 355 committees and sports groups of the project management framework. Identify contact information, roles and responsibilities of staff
    • Create and implement style guides and signage strategy
      To ensure information is consistent and reliable across the region

    • Develop an Active Transport and Pedestrian Access Mobility Plan
      Improve safety, comfort, level of use, connectivity and accessibility between recreation precincts and other residential or community infrastructure.

    • Review Undeveloped Open SpaceTo determine the recreational value and identify which parcels are surplus to the community’s needs

    • Adopt Design Guidelines and Planning Principles To ensure any future recreation project and provision of open space is well planned and designed. This will lead to high quality, well connected, safe and inclusive spaces

    • Review local parks
      The review will consider the desired design and planning principles to ensure the community have access to high quality and well maintained facilities. The review will consider rationalising in areas where there is an oversupply

    How will my feedback be used for the strategy?

    Your feedback will help with the development of the draft strategy by guiding our planning and priorities and helping us understand where we need to direct our resources

    Why is the Strategy important?

    Council is responsible for providing recreation and open space facilities for the community in a sustainable way in accordance with community aspirations.

     A strategy such as this, developed with the community, provides an important guiding document for the current and future provision and management of open spaces and associated facilities.

    What are the challenges considered by this strategy?

    • The diverse needs of a growing and changing community. Each area of our region is different, and the needs of the current and future populations will vary. 
    • The role and importance recreation facilities have for tourism and economic development
    • Equitable access to open space for residents, workers and visitors across the Local Government Area
    • The impacts of climate change and extreme weather conditions, as well as resilience and adaptation strategies to mitigate their effects
    • Choosing infrastructure that is low maintenance and suited to the local environment 
    • Increasing community expectations and limited funding stream
    • The role open spaces play in providing opportunities for social interaction and cohesion
    • Addressing gaps or surplus in provision for particular types/ functions of open space and recreation facilities
    • Levels of maintenance, servicing and infrastructure (weighing up likely usage and potential costs to the ratepayer)