Realising a long-term vision

By Benalla Ensign

The Benalla Rural City Community Plan 2016-2036 outlines the future of the town, a future that will be driven by local people.

In 2015 Benalla Rural City Council (BRCC) supported and funded the development of a plan which aimed to reflect the views of local people — in particular how they want to live during the next 20 years.

The project was overseen by a steering committee which included 11 independent members of the community and council representatives.

A consultation process was undertaken with 700 local people, whose feedback provided a rich source of information to assist the implementation of the Plan.

The outcome is a blueprint for what Benalla can be in the future. It records the values of local people and helps guide future development.

The plan includes Benalla’s heritage, its rich history of arts and culture, sport and recreation, the environment and the diversity of the community.

While change is inevitable these values are now embedded in the plan and provide a blueprint for what the town aspires to be.

Based on the information gained from the community consultations, the Plan identifies seven key themes which will guide development until 2036.

By that point projections show that Benalla will be well connected and have a strong sense of community wellbeing.

Leadership will be encouraged and supported and the thriving, vibrant Benalla community will be reflected in a progressive economy which accommodates and supports the people who live in town and those that choose to visit.

The plan covers both urban Benalla and the smaller but equally important surrounding communities which add to the area’s appeal.

BRCC’s support will be ongoing, however the plan requires active input from members of the community if it is to retain its relevance and achieve its goals.

Following the completion and launch of the Plan in 2016, an Implementation Committee was formed to oversee the work required to assist Benalla realise its long-term vision.

The committee is made up of 10 community representatives as well as Benalla Rural City councillor Barbara Alexander and Mayor Scott Upton.

Three working groups, made up of community representatives and support staff, work on a day-to-day basis to raise awareness of the goals outlined in the plan.

They also work to achieve the objectives of the plan while engaging with members of the community and offering support for current and developing projects.

While the Plan guides decision making by council and other organisations, working closely in and with members of the Benalla community will ensure its goals and objectives are considered.

If you would like to know more about the Community Plan 2016-2036 or would like to become involved with one of the working groups phone Freida Andrews on 0417058897 or email