1. Home
  2. breadcrumbs separator
  3. breadcrumbs separator
  4. breadcrumbs separator

Community Forum Summit 2022

Community Summit: Conversations, Values And Aspirations

Publish date: 25 May 2022

Buloke Shire Council’s Community Forum Summit, held Tuesday night, successfully set the pace for some straightforward conversations among community leaders about future opportunities and challenges. Over the years these summits have become an important community engagement exercise, giving insight into how community values play into Council’s planning, bringing community leaders together to build strong relationships across the Shire and with Councillors and staff. Several leaders joined this year’s summit from home, which was streamed online, enabling more forum members to participate.

“Getting out there, spending time getting to know more about our communities and issues we share with others, helps to develop an in-depth understanding of what makes Buloke tick,” said Deputy Mayor Cr Alan Getley, who chaired the summit.

“The summit provides an avenue to recognise the achievements and this year also unpack Council’s Draft Annual Budget, Financial Plan and Strategic Asset Management Plan, with follow-up question-and-answer focus time with Council staff, contributing essential feedback to Council.”

Buloke Shire Council CEO, Wayne O’Toole, reinforced why it is important for communities to put their ideas and aspirations into their Town Plans, so that Council has plenty of lead time to investigate funding opportunities and make budget preparations. This prompted questions about tourism, prioritisation of upgrade of assets such as key footpaths to improve accessibility for members of the community.

Director of Community Development, Travis Fitzgibbon, presented an overview of community grants program, encouraging community groups to contact Council to assist them with the application process. Mr Fitzgibbon reported that the ‘Small Towns Big Difference’ pilot grant program was very successful, attracting 30 applications. Forum representatives concurred that the simple, streamlined application process worked well and supported Council in seeking further opportunities.

“These summits are always very interesting, and you get a really broad view of everything,” said Kayleen James of Nullawil.

“The discussion about our aging community drainage was good, learning there is currently no funding (government) to help Council fix this other than ratepayer funds…unless funding can be creatively attracted through another project, such as water conservation - for Nullawil this is a huge issue because it is so flat. Only by listening to communities we can all gain an understanding of needs and support one another. I wish more people would get involved as I don’t think some people realise the challenges Council faces and are sometimes too quick to criticise, without understanding what the challenges are.”