The future of the Alexandrina district is currently under the microscope and in recent months, the Alexandrina Council has been carrying out extensive public consultation to see how the community envisions the region in 20 years' time.
The Alexandrina 2040 project is a multi-phase investigation, which seeks to identify key areas of growth and address upcoming challenges.
Phase 3 of this project took place in February and March 2020, when Alexandrina Council held eight 'Village Conversation' events, garnering community input and feedback.
Before this, in the spring of 2019, the council put a call out for ideas, asking residents and visitors what they love about Alexandrina, and what challenges and opportunities the region might face between now and 2040.
Over 1100 people contributed through an online survey and a series of listening post events; and in January this year, the Phase 2 report highlighting the outcomes was released.
This report set the basis for the recent series of Village Conversations, where residents had the opportunity to comment on the potential projects planned for each town, based on the ten-year expansion program within the council's current long-term financial plan.
Now, the results of Phase 3's Village Conversations have been released.
A council spokesperson said community feedback and involvement was much appreciated.
"They willingly gave their feedback and contributed additional project ideas for council to consider," the spokesperson said.
"The new 'Phase 3' report collates and summarises outcomes from over 500 responses, which included those from nearly 230 people who attended across eight workshops along with a further 271 who completed an online survey.
"The response to Phase 3 of the long-term strategic planning process confirmed how invested each community is in getting involved, having their say, and being heard by council."
As part of this feedback, a series of aspirations and action areas that were developed from the Phase 2 findings were validated as being a relevant reflection of participant's expectations and important for the Alexandrina region moving forward.
Key findings from the Phase 3 report include:
- The community are comfortable with the level of service currently provided by the council in relation to Waste Management and Parks and Recreation, with these Action Areas given a lower investment priority overall and across most locations
- Climate Change, Well-managed Growth and Economic Development were the Action Areas which the community prioritised most highly.
- The Council has recently invested in the area of Economic Development and the benefits associated with this increased investment will become evident to the community in the near future via initiatives such as the soon-to-be opened Alexandrina Business Hub
- The results indicate that the top priority areas for council to focus on in the short term are Climate Change and Well-managed Growth
- Different towns and wards had different priorities when it came to the Action Areas, which is to be expected, and highlights the importance of consulting the community at a local level to fully understand local needs and priorities
- In particular, the level of priority associated with Road Maintenance & Upgrades varied considerably between the rural and town areas, with three of the rural towns plus those living in rural localities placing this as their highest priority.
The next step in the Alexandrina 2040 process is a suite of draft plans released for a final round of public consultation in November and December 2020.
Read the reports and access more information about the Alexandrina 2040 process via: mysay.alexandrina.sa.gov.au/A2040