Ten year "vision" for sport and recreation adopted

A TEN-year plan for sport and recreation developed by Gannawarra Shire Council will ensure a more consistent approach across locations to planning and resourcing activities and facilities, and will help in the process of obtaining funding for projects, the shire says.

The 2019-2029 Gannawarra Shire Sport and Recreation Strategy, which has been adopted by the council lists 27 "high priority" infrastructure projects and programs, five "medium priority" initiatives, which are dependent on external funding, and a list of "other projects", which the shire will assist with, but which would be driven by other organisations. 

Director of community well-being Stacy Williams said the strategy gives community and sporting groups the opportunity to partner with the council to develop their projects.

"This firms up a 10-year vision for sport and recreation for all our communities, and supports a clear direction for council to support clubs to achieve their vision," Ms Williams said.

"The strategy recognises not just organised sport, but passive recreation like walking and cycling, and provides an opportunity to look at developing formal walking and cycling tracks."

The strategy notes that for small community sporting groups it is increasingly difficult to maintain membership, player and volunteer numbers and to fund and maintain facilities.

"The strategy encourages communities to consolidate facilities and invest in multi-purpose facilities that support wider use of formal sport and recreation facilities across the Shire," the document says. 

"It also encourages investment into environmentally friendly initiatives that reduce running costs such as solar, shade and water savings, to ensure sustainability and viability into the future."

Three phases of consultation on the strategy saw representatives from 30 major user groups of recreational facilities and 236 respondents to an online survey have their say on it, and 19 submissions were received by the council on the strategy in its draft form.

"It's been exciting to sit down through the consultation period with clubs and groups and better understand their goals and where each club is at, financially and with volunteers," Ms Williams said.