What happened to my feedback to the draft Council Plan

    Thank you to those that shared their feedback on the draft Council Plan.  Councils response is below.

    Community FeedbackCouncil's response
    I am happy to see the plan and expects changes for diverse communities. We are lacking a lot in community engagement which is very important regarding members’ growth and wellbeing. 

    Overall, the plan is clear, readable and aspires to achieving worthy goals. 

    However, what appears to be missing is due mention of the distinct historical character of the regions which make up Manningham, particularly the Templestowe river flats area, the orchard heritage of Doncaster and the goldfields artisan environs of Warrandyte. How exactly are these areas going to be protected and celebrated? 

    Furthermore, the streetscape management plan needs to include a commitment to community consultation prior to Council decisions being made which affect a street.

    Promoting and celebrating historical character of the regions:

    new action: Council to actively promote the heritage of our City through the annual Heritage Festival and through Council’s Heritage Advisory Committee. 

    New: Summary of historical character

    Early engagement on streetscape management plans are addressed through a Major Initiative
    and Community Engagement Policy

    A worthy if wordy plan with a broad approach.

    I was disappointed not to see climate change front and centre to the next few years planning. It is the major issue of our time. 

    I think the pandemic must shape the next few years direction also especially in relation to tourism and creating opportunities for work and leisure close to home.

    Heritage did not seem to score a mention and the environment seemed underdone. The outlying centres such as Warrandyte, Wonga Park and Park Orchards with their special requirements did not appear to rate while other received special mentions It is easy to miss things in such a detailed document. Hopefully some actions will be strengthened in the final plan. Outcomes need to be measurable in 2025.

    Climate Change:

    existing actions and references: Climate change and the environment is featured across all eleven goals of the Council Plan with two Major Initiatives and just over 40 actions. Climate change will be emphasised in the Council’s message and the upcoming Environmental Strategy and the Climate Action Plan will add even greater weight to this area.

     The pandemic will be emphasised in the Council’s message.

    existing action: Explore the need for a broad heritage review and assessment to protect and promote the cultural and historical significance of Council’s assets.

    I particularly like the Goals associated with both the Liveable Places Theme and the Spaces and Well Governed Council Themes
    Lot of work undertaken by Council and Community and I commend All contributors for their hard work and passion. Cannot emphasise enough the importance of honest open communication by Council, in various ways that suit the intersectionality of our residents including languages, age, ability, etc and written, spoken, digital formats. That Council needs to go back to residents after decision taken and explain/justify reasons why/when/where/what/ how We as the community need to know what's going on, so genuine status updates are relevant and useful. Also Council should never judge a book by its cover. Just because a resident may not be fluent in English does not mean the resident is incapable of providing topical feedback. Council cannot say 'Hard To Reach' Onus is on council to reach out to 'hardly reached' or seldom heard voices

    Although the Draft is beautifully crafted with much community input, key exclusions create doubt re: Council’s bias towards the urban and lack of will and capacity to deliver its lofty mission, values and goals for all localities, residents & visitors. Perhaps those are excluded due to hesitancy or lack of appropriate pathway, to speak up & respond, therefore requiring more proactive acknowledgement and care in Council's Plan.

     Just a few examples: Pg 11-15, no mention of DAWN, a vital Doncare service for family safety & loneliness due to domestic violence.

    no mention by name or impact of important ground-breaking 2017 State Legislation Yarra River Protection Wilap-gin-Birrarung-Murron Act, adopted by Council recently. Only a mention of Yarra River Corridor Pg 12,21,28

    Throughout the document, specific urban sites & plans are mentioned by name - Jackson Ct, Doncaster Hill, etc, but no mention of specific plans for specific semi-rural spaces and vital heritage villages like Warrandyte.

    No mention of Council’s appreciation for & collaboration with specific local environmental protection & replenishment groups like FOWSP. No mention generally of how many groups/residents participate in such groups for environmental and social justice.

    Family Violence:
    existing Major Initiative: resources and information that link our community to the understanding of and responses to family violence. Note: specific groups are not mentioned

    new: Reference to the Yarra River Protection (Wilip-gin Birrarung murron) Bill 2017 Act


    City coverage:
     existing action: 
    Planning a preferred neighbourhood character to make sure our neighbourhoods are well designed as part of our Liveable City Strategy 2040.


    Environmental Groups
     existing action
    : Collaborate with community environment groups and other public land managers to protect biodiversity and open space.
    new action: Actively encourage and support local community environmental groups including Landcare, ‘friends of’ and other environment and sustainability stewardship groups.

    pg 35,48 Tourism increase promoted, but no mention of Fire Season Safety education or fire action plans for tourists. No mention of specific action plans to protect and revitalise specific destinations like overused reserves. I didn't notice mention of the new MEMCP group, for safely managing emergency, identifying and removing risks, and all the agencies and authorities involved. Perhaps I missed it?
    In the current Draft, there are many empty spaces where such vital details could be easily inserted, demonstrating Council actually has no bias, but rather a balanced attention to urban and environmental, rural and village issues and is collaborating with community working on the ground ensuring the stated values - health, safety, environment, resilience etc are actually being implemented. As a long-time rate-payer, and consultant on leadership and inclusiveness in organisations, I suggest you carefully scan the document for evidence of these particular key imbalances and exclusions. There are many more than I’ve mentioned here.

    Fire and Emergency Management 

    existing actions and references:

    • Reworded to include EMCEMP: Partnering with a range of agencies, organisations, local emergency services and the Eastern Metropolitan Councils Emergency Management Partnership to prepare our community to be active, safe and resilient for fire and emergency.
    • Support effective preparation, response and recovery for emergency events.
    • Deliver management and maintenance programs to manage the balance of bushfire prevention with the protection of biodiversity.
    • Resilience Framework for Emergency Management
    • Supporting landholders with woody weed removal and bushfire mitigation.
    • Demonstrate leadership in use of environmentally responsive materials and locations to promote resilience to flood, bushfire and climate.


    Management of Parks and Reserves

    existing reference: Implementing our Open Space Strategy and Master Plan actions to create and maintain accessible and well-connected areas for activity, recreation and relaxation.
    I note that you aim to have well maintained and used community infrastructure etc. how does this goal fit with large corporations such as Bunnings or Westfield being permitted to block off long sections of major roads and footpaths for years on end..? 
    For Council report only: We understand the inconvenience from the prolonged closure of the kerbside traffic lane and footpath along the front of the Bunnings Doncaster development site in Doncaster Road. The closure is necessary to ensure the safety of any pedestrians needing to walk along Doncaster Road and for the road improvement works to be completed safely considering road users and the workers.

    Unfortunately these works are taking longer to complete than we originally anticipated, due to the presence of major utility services. When the improvement works are completed, the road capacity will be increased to meet the traffic demand of the development. A boulevard style footpath will also be provided along the development site frontage, significantly enhancing the amenity and experience for pedestrians.

    What is a Council Plan?

    Our Council Plan is our key strategic document. It was developed following the election of Councillors in October 2020. 

    Our Council Plan sets out how Council will act for the benefit and wellbeing of the local community across 2021 - 2025.

    The Council Plan outlines the priorities and goals for Manningham, why they are important and the actions we will take to deliver better outcomes for the community. 

    Why does Council need these Plans?

    All local governments are guided by the Victorian Government’s Local Government Act 2020 which requires Council’s to involve the community in developing a clear set out priorities for their four year term for a:

    • Community Vision – what the community would like to see
    • Council Plan – the priorities and what action Council will take to deliver
    • Long term Financial Plan, Asset Plan and Annual Budget – how the Vision and the delivery of the Council Plan will be resourced 

    What is Manningham's Community Vision?

    Manningham is a peaceful, inclusive and safe community. We celebrate life with its diverse culture, wildlife and natural environment. We are resilient and value sustainable and healthy living, a sense of belonging, and respect for one another.

    This vision will be considered in all of our future planning.

    How have the community been involved in the development of the Plans?

    Our Community Engagement Policy has guided our extensive consultation over the past 12 months. We are committed to making sure the voice of the community continues to shape the future of Manningham. We have heard from over 2,500 people from all over Manningham over the past twelve months through a community survey, targeted conversations with key groups, four community engagement sessions with a deliberative Community Panel, Councillor workshops and staff consultation sessions. Our new Manningham Community Vision and other strategies and plans also informed the development of this Plan, as well as data, evidence, legislation and trends to make sure this Plan was up-to-date and well informed.


    For the first time, following the new Local Government Act, we engaged a randomly selected Community Panel to inform the Plan through a deliberative engagement process. Over four sessions between 17- 28 March 2021, a core panel of 40 community members weighed up previous community feedback, Council information, data and evidence and developed a Community Vision and twelve recommendations to inform Council’s major strategic documents. These were informally handed over to Council at the conclusion of the final session and formally received at a Special Council Meeting in April 2021.

    What will the Council Plan help us to achieve?

    Our Council Plan sets out five key themes and eleven goals that we will focus on over our Council’s four-year term. To achieve the best outcomes for our community, we look at each goal for benefits for the community, environment, places and spaces, economy, and how we can support this with strong governance.

    This Council Plan focuses on investing now and into the future by improving our core services, emphasising community wellbeing, particularly for younger and older people, our local environment and supporting our local businesses.

    How can we find out about the progress of the Council Plan once adopted?

    We are working on new ways to report our progress over the next four years. As well as updates in Manningham Matters and on social media, we will also report on our progress in the Manningham Quarterly Report and the Manningham Annual Report.

    What are the supported Community Panel recommendations?

    Recommendation 1: Plan for new developments responsibly. Maintain principles of protecting our environment, green and open space, environmentally sustainable (through use of materials) and maintaining a balance of city and country

    Recommendation 2: Provide ways for people to connect: younger and older people, in the physical/built environment and online, deliver events, festivals, markets and activities, provide infrastructure (paths, trails, street furniture), accessible transport options. 

    Recommendation 3: Communications, marketing, and advertising to support awareness of initiatives/services/activities/programs (particularly local) to connect our community, and on the environment

    Recommendation 4: Plan for equitable and accessible services and infrastructure for prominent issues (such as mental health and social isolation): Council to consider the specific identified needs of ALL our community. Decision making on evidence-based data on population growth, trends, and community input

    Recommendation 5: Consider core principles of biodiversity and protecting wildlife in all that we do

    Recommendation 6: Partner, support, develop relationships with library, community groups, neighbourhood houses, volunteering groups to deliver on outcomes

    Recommendation 7: Educational and awareness programs/workshops/classes (including environment, mental health, family violence, for our CALD community, skills sharing) to support a connected and healthy community and waste management, compost, climate changes and biodiversity.

    Recommendation 8: Celebrate and promote our arts and culture to support a healthy community and local economy

    Recommendation 9: Expand or better utilise our current facilities (e.g. stadiums) or spaces (e.g. reserves), or develop new facilities. These facilities to become community hubs, with activities and events for all 

    Recommendation 10: Advocate to government and business on environmental issues

    Recommendation 11: Support local businesses, particularily where they demonstrate alignment with our community values, provide services to the community, or are partnering with local community organisations and services. 

    Recommendation 12. Council to measure and demonstrate success of its services, and achievement of social, environmental and economic outcomes against community need. Set targets and report back.

    What information went into developing the Council Plan?