Campaspe Our Future

Project name: Campaspe Our Future

Client: Shire of Campaspe

Background: Campaspe Shire is located 180 kilometres directly north of Melbourne on both the Murray and Goulburn Rivers. It is a popular tourist and retirement destination. One of the challenges for Campaspe Shire Council (Council) is to deliver services efficiently across its area of operations, which spans more than 4,519 square kilometres.  It is a relatively new shire, having been formed after the local government reforms in Victoria over the last decade.

Engagement brief: Straight Talk was commissioned to undertake community and stakeholder consultation and prepare a Strategic Plan for the Shire of Campaspe.

The process of developing the Strategic Plan was to be consultation-led. As such, the Strategic Plan was prepared in consultation with stakeholders, including government agencies, non-government service providers, council staff, local business owners and residents.

As the Strategic Plan informs the development and implementation of all strategic and operational plans to ensure all Council activities are delivering on the community’s vision for the future, it needed to:

  • Reaffirm (or define) a vision to reflect what is important and set the direction for Council over the long term and identify priority issues that are so significant to the overall well-being of the Shire that they require coordinated long term action from Council
  • Define expected objectives that clearly state what Council must achieve to address the priority issues
  • Determine who is accountable and how objectives will be met – strategies, projects, plans and budgets to provide a clear framework for how Council will allocate time, staff and money to address priority issues and achieve its defined objectives.

Description of engagement: Straight Talk designed and implemented a range of community consultation activities for the development of the Strategic Plan that outlines the Shire of Campaspe’s vision and priorities for the next twenty years. Straight Talk then drafted the Strategic Plan titled ‘Campaspe Our Future’ in direct response to community input.

Straight Talk conducted a suite of engagement activities to obtain feedback from community members, organisational stakeholders, community groups and Council. These included:

  • Online survey – available via Council’s website throughout June, collecting feedback from the community, including secondary school students, about what the community values about the municipality and where they live, their aspirations and the things that are of most concern to them about the future
  • Community workshops – conducted in Echuca, Rochester and Kyabram to collect feedback about what the priorities for the future should be
  • Outreach (pop-up) activities – short, fun activities were undertaken in Stanhope, Rochester, Kyabram, Lockington and Echuca to capture feedback on values, aspirations and the vision for the future
  • Stakeholder meetings – to capture feedback on long-term trends and the key priorities for the future
  • Schools competitions – two competitions to encourage primary and secondary school students to participate in the engagement process and provide feedback on young people’s vision for their community and its future

To view Campaspe Our future, click here

Testimonial: The feedback from a Shire of Campaspe Councillor demonstrates the enthusiasm with which the strategic plan was received:

“Can I commend you on an excellent report. Its visually dynamic and ‘fun’ feel belies a depth of research into our environment overlaid by an awareness of local issues that is ‘out of the box’ as to any report I have had presented through council in my time as a councillor. Context, national trends, regional relationships and a terrific capture of the pulse of the community – followed by the vision for the future and strategies/principles by which council, community and businesses can achieve it is great.You have also captured those areas where council has the opportunity to improve directly and respectfully. Well done…….In all, I think this is a terrific piece of work (I don’t usually get excited when a draft report is presented!) and I genuinely hope we will see more of your work in future.”