Vision and Values to take Lake Macquarie into the future

Lake Macquarie City councillors have adopted a new City Vision and set of Community Values that will guide future planning and provide direction for how the City responds to change and growth.

The City Vision and Community Values statements were created by a Community Reference Group of 20 Lake Macquarie residents drawing on extensive feedback from the Shape Your Future community engagement campaign.

The new City Vision and Community Values reflect the priorities of Lake Mac residents, with a strong emphasis on environmental protection, lifestyle and wellbeing, community connectivity and the development of a diverse, adaptable economy.

The statements update the first vision and set of values for the city, which were developed during the early 1990s.

“While there are many similarities, the new City Vision and Community Values are more succinct and current, and equip the Council to take the city forward in the 21st century,” Mayor of Lake Macquarie, Cr Kay Fraser, said.

“The community has told us they consider Council’s role in the modern era to go well beyond the old maxim of ‘roads, rates and rubbish’.

“They expect Council to be a guardian of the environment, a driver of economic growth and diversification, and a provider of services and facilities that enrich the cultural and social life of the community.”

Shape Your Future was one of the most comprehensive engagement projects undertaken by Council, reaching tens of thousands of residents through an innovative range of traditional and digital feedback tools.

These included public forums, stakeholder meetings, phone surveys, pop-up stalls, school workshops, direct mail, e-newsletters, ‘guerrilla’ advertising and online engagement through social media and a project web page with an interactive city map.

Council’s Manager Integrated Planning, Sharon Pope, said the scope of the campaign and diversity of engagement methods allowed Council to reach a significant cross-section of the community across a wide geographical area.

“Shape Your Future reached 90,000 properties in Lake Macquarie through editions of Your City magazine, 78,000 residents through social media and thousands more through face-to face interaction. It generated 5,000 visits to the project web page and more than 1,800 comments and submissions,” Ms Pope said.

“Our objective was to encourage participation. As part of this, we introduced some fun new engagement methods such as guerrilla advertising on shared pathways and pop-up stalls where residents could tell staff what they value about the city and view 3D futuristic city scenes with virtual reality goggles.”

Lake Macquarie resident Carolyn Schofield, who sat on the Community Reference Group, said the City Vision and Community Values created a holistic framework from which the council could make community-focused decisions about the City’s future.

“They are a strong reflection of the culture and feel of Lake Macquarie while also portraying a vision for the future that will allow us to move forward without losing the essence of the City,” she said.

The Lake Macquarie City Vision and Community Values were adopted at the Ordinary Meeting of Council on Monday, 28 November. They will be a foundation for future policies prepared by Council, including the new Community Strategic Plan, to be released in 2017, and a new land-use strategy, for which planning is under way.

Click here to find out more about the next steps.

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