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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bellarine associations meet senior council managers

On 9 September, senior managers from the City of Greater Geelong (CoGG), led by Chief Executive Stephen Griffin, met representatives of the Affiliation of Bellarine Community Associations ABCA) for a second time. ABCA had arranged the first meeting on June 18 and Stephen Griffin initiated this follow-up.

The second meeting consolidated the work of the first around four issues:
1. Communication with CoGG on Bellarine-wide issues. ABCA people had asked in the first meeting for a liaison person within CoGG with whom to raise Bellarine-wide issues. In this second meeting, it was agreed that Stephen Griffin's office would be ABCA's first point of contact for operational issues; and that the ABCA will convene a meeting with the four councillors representing the Bellarine to discuss Bellarine-wide policy issues.
2. CoGG consultation policy. CoGG is reviewing its approach to consultation, drawing on the work of the International Association for Public Participation (IAPP). ABCA people had emphasized in the first meeting that CoGG's current policy includes no benchmarks of excellence or audit mechanisms to see if they're met; and highlighted a similar lack in the IAPP material.
3. Long-term plans for the Bellarine. In the first meeting, Stephen Griffin had described the ABCA as the peak body for community issues on the Bellarine and that ABCA would be invited to be part of CoGG's 2011 mid-term review of the Bellarine Strategic Plan.
In this meeting he said that the G21 Regional Land Use Plan (G21RLUP) will govern where, when and how development will occur in the G21 region(including the Bellarine Peninsula); and that the authors of the G21 Regional Land Use Plan will draw on the Bellarine Strategic Plan and other strategic and structure plans.
It was agreed that the 2011 mid term review of the Bellarine Strategic Plan could take place as part of the G21RLUP process and that the ABCA should a) liaise with equivalent regional organisations elsewhere in the G21 region to foster 'community ownership' of the Plan; b) hold a regional forum to discuss the Plan's draft proposals when they are released in late 2011 or early 2012.
4. Infrastructure on the Bellarine. The ABCA has developed a comprehensive plan for upgrading regional infrastructure. It was agreed that ABCA should submit its plan to the Project Steering Group of the G21 Regional Land Use Plan and should request involvement in the G21RLUP process.

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