Hepburn Shire Council is seeking volunteers to join a Community Engagement Pool to provide input into the future of the Shire’s townships.

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said that the Community Engagement Pool members will help to develop various components of the strategic planning project, Future Hepburn. Structure plans outline how Council will protect and enhance the existing character of townships and guide appropriate growth and development to 2050.

Future Hepburn is a once in a generation program of major strategic planning projects that Council is undertaking to protect and enhance the natural and built environment and to improve liveability in the Shire. Council will develop a range of plans and strategies in 2023 and 2024 that will guide the future of townships across the Shire including Township Structure Plans, Urban Design Frameworks, Neighbourhood Character Assessments, Integrated Transport Strategy and the Agricultural Land and Rural Settlement Strategy.

Council is looking to establish five Community Panels in the townships of Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford/Hepburn Springs, Glenlyon and Trentham, thereby delivering on its commitment to community-inclusive engagement. Each panel will be made up of 21 community members drawn from the Future Hepburn Community Engagement Pool in line with Council’s Community Engagement Policy.

The panels will be made up of people who live in or who own property in the townships and surrounding areas. Specialist skills are not required – just a passion for their community and a willingness to get involved in shaping their township’s future. The Community Panels will include representatives across all age groups and genders.

Community Panel members will be asked to attend three in-person sessions held during October and November. Community members not selected for panels will still have opportunities to provide feedback and participate in engagement activities.

Just over 1,000 letters were sent out to randomly selected community members inviting them to register to get involved in the Community Engagement Pool. Community members can also nominate themselves to be involved by registering their interest at https://participate.hepburn.vic.gov.au/future-hepburn.

Applications close on Sunday 3 September 2023.