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Town planning, sustainability and you

  • How does Town Planning impact on your day to day life?

  • What is the role of Baw Baw Shire Council?

  • What are your experiences like in dealing with Council?

  • How can you get involved with decisions that affect you?

  • How can you help Council serve you better?

  • How can we help convince Council to use the tools in the Planning Scheme to deliver better outcomes?

Do your eyes glaze over when you hear words like sustainability or town planning? What’s in it for you? Well, actually, a great deal. We all would like to think that we will leave behind a legacy for our children or future generations. Putting it simply, sustainability is about meeting the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations, while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care and social well-being. We have to be able to strike a balance between these sometimes-conflicting goals. Where does Town Planning fit into this?

Town planning is the planning and design of all the new buildings, roads, and open space in a place to make them attractive, useable and convenient for the people who live there. When planning is successful, it can provide protection for the environment, promote and facilitate regeneration, help create and sustain communities, and create new and exciting places by ensuring land uses are appropriately located and that:

  • buildings and land uses do not conflict with each other

  • the character of an area is not detrimentally affected

  • development will not detrimentally affect the environment

  • through sustainable practices future generations are considered in decision making

  • places of heritage significance are not detrimentally altered or demolished.

  • sustainable practices improve our lives, protect our eco system.

If you live, work, learn, play or run a business in Baw Baw Shire you should be interested in planning because everyday decisions are being made at the local lot level, neighbourhood, town and right up the regional level which can impact on your ability to enjoy this great place.

Have you ever interacted with Baw Baw Shire Council on a planning matter whether as an applicant for a permit, an affected adjoining neighbour, a user of an open space or at a community forum or council meeting? What was that experience like for you? Was it positive, where you felt your voice was heard or was it not so positive?

Because the Shire and its elected officials and staff are responsible for the delivery of projects and services worth many hundreds of millions of dollars, your money, it’s important to take more than a passing interest in local civic matters. Over the next few weeks, we will be presenting a series of articles about how the planning system and the Shire and its representatives are and sometimes aren’t, delivering the best possible outcomes for its residents, businesses and visitors, to leave that well-founded legacy for the future. Council must make decisions based on the best available evidence.

At the highest level, Baw Baw Shire states on the Council website, its “Vision, Values and Mission” – in other words, the way it says it serves the people of this Shire. It also has a Customer Service Charter. Check these out and consider whether you feel the Shire is meeting and living these Commitments, Vision and Values as you read (and hopefully provide feedback on) our observations of the delivery or otherwise of some important elements in the Shire’s Planning Scheme. It is important for all citizens to exercise their democratic right to speak out in an informed and respectful manner to help our local government to do its job and best reflect the needs and wishes of all.

Baw Baw Shire Vision, Values and Mission

"Our Commitments

Through the Community Vision, Mission and Cultural Values Council commits to working towards the best possible outcomes for the Baw Baw community.

Baw Baw's Community Vision

This is our shared aspiration for the longterm future of the Shire: to be Sustainable, Healthy and Thriving:

· Sustainable towns and villages that continue to benefit from our beautiful rural and natural environment.

· Healthy people, living in connected communities and healthy environments, and

· Thriving, diverse and resilient communities.

Our Mission

Council’s mission is to be leaders in delivering quality, innovative and community focused services today that make a difference for tomorrow.

Council's Cultural Commitments

Optimistic about our organisation’s ability to deliver quality services and projects to benefit the community.

Pragmatic by resolving issues and making the best possible use of our time, effort and resources.

Respectful of our organisation and of the diverse views and perspectives of our community.

Supportive by valuing our team members, empowering them to be successful in their roles and investing in their growth and development.

Authentic by undertaking our work in an open, honest and transparent manner."

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