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5 August, 2022

Community plan to guide future

A NEW community plan for the Tablelands local government area outlines a host of regional aspirations for the next decade aimed at driving the economy, guiding future infrastructure needs, caring for the environment, building a greater sense of community, and creating a healthier lifestyle.

By Robyn Holmes

Tablelands Mayor Rod Marti with the community plan.

SNAPSHOT of Tablelands Community

  • 26,244 people, median age of 49
  • 31.6% couples with children
  • 29.3% live alone
  • 13.2% born overseas
  • 7.9% First Nations peoples
  • 19.6% of people volunteer
  • 2775 businesses

The Tablelands 2030+ Community Plan was developed after an extensive community engagement program that included a focus group of more than 60 residents and businesses as well as polls and feedback to staff and councillors which generated 574 ideas that forms the basis of the new strategy.

Acknowledging the hard work that went into developing the document, Tablelands Mayor Rod Marti said council was committed to working towards achieving the aspirations and desires of the community outlined in the plan.

“This long-term vision for the Tablelands is our community’s document, and they should be proud,” he said. 

“I commend the focus groups and other people in the community who contributed to the plan and helped to identify the desired future we want to achieve.” 

The plan which features 114 actions under the five priority areas of economy, community, healthy lifestyles, environment and infrastructure – some that council can achieve alone, others that require partnerships and some that will be achieved through advocacy to higher levels of government or relevant agencies. 

Actions listed under Economy include supporting new enterprises that would reflect the region’s natural assets such as plantation timber and biopharmaceuticals; leveraging regional geography to attract international adventure events; supporting Indigenous and new tourism products as well more nature-based experiences for tourists; expanding and promoting the Tablelands food bowl; promoting the shop local platform and locally sourced products and goods; and encouraging crop diversification. 

Under Infrastructure, the plan lists the need for a variety of housing options to be available in the region and a flexible planning scheme allowing for innovative housing; greater emphasis on shaded public spaces and more efficient energy use; food and water security; development of agri-tourism, extending the on and off-road bike network; connecting towns by public transport; and the installation of more EV charging stations. 

In the Community section, initiatives include increasing the use and promotion of school and open spaces; encouraging multi-purpose facilities; establishing more paths between towns to connect communities; finding ways to retain and attract young people and families to the region; and encouraging more public art throughout the region. 

To promote the region as a healthy place to live, actions include improving telehealth and mental health services; access to GPs; supporting more mentoring programs to connect seniors and younger community members; supporting community coops, markets and farm gate sales; and becoming a regional leader in facilities for water recreational activities such as sailing, water skiing, rowing and canoeing. 

Under the Environment pillar, actions include accounting for climate change when planning essential services and infrastructure; making changes to the planning scheme to encourage more sustainable land use practices, restoration efforts and sustainable buildings; introducing a green waste household collection service; and the establishment of an environmental centre of excellence.

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