Day one of citizens’ jury showcases excitement about Colac’s potential
October 31, 2017
Mayor Chris Potter has praised the goodwill and commitment that was evident in day one of the Colac 2050 Growth Plan citizens’ jury.
Forty people attended day one of the jury’s three sitting days, and Cr Potter said the shared enthusiasm for seeing Colac grow was plain to see.
“It was a heavy day of information gathering for the jury as they started to explore all the things they need to consider when planning for the long-term growth of Colac,” Cr Potter said.
“Our jury members have really stepped up to the challenge and councillors are genuinely looking forward to receiving the jury’s recommendations in December.”
The citizens’ jury is charged with making recommendations back to Council on three questions.
• How and where should Colac grow?
• What facilities, infrastructure, or services are needed for a population of 20,000?
• How should Council fund the growth of Colac?
The jury heard from speakers on the origins of Colac’s town layout, history and heritage, drainage and stormwater and began to explore how they might factor in Colac’s current demographics into their thinking.
The jury also heard from a range of developers, land owners and community members who had made a submission into the Colac 2050 Growth Plan discussion paper.
Council’s Development and Community Services General Manager Gareth Smith said the discussion with submitters was a highlight.
“We really saw jury members come alive as they spoke to people who argued for or against zoning changes that would open up land for development,” Mr Smith said.
“That was the point where we started to see a real excitement at the possibilities of this project.”
The jury next sits on Sunday, 12 November, and has requested more information on demographics, what infrastructure is needed to service a population of 20,000 people, and town planning principles. Jury members have also agreed to work on developing an overarching vision for Colac’s future, to guide their work.
Most of the jury process is open to the public and takes place at the Central Reserve pavilion.