RICHMOND Valley Council’s new Community Strategic Plan (CSP) sets an ambitious growth agenda for 2040, including more people, housing, jobs and green spaces.
It also sets key directions to ensure our communities are sustainable, that we protect our environment and use our natural resources wisely.
By 2040, the Richmond Valley’s population is expected to grow by 4000, creating some 2000 extra employment opportunities, including 600 direct jobs from the Regional Job Precinct. There is also a plan to unlock flood-safe lands with room for 2000 new homes.
General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the new CSP sets a pathway for steady, responsible growth in the Richmond Valley, which would provide much-needed homes for local families, more jobs for young people and more services and facilities for our towns and villages.
“There are many exciting initiatives ahead in the next 20 years as we finish the major works we’ve begun and open new opportunities for our Valley,” Mr Macdonald said.
“We will deliver our plans to secure long-term water supplies, provide new and upgraded water and sewage infrastructure and enhanced community facilities across the entire Valley to support the more than 2000 new homes which can be built on flood-safe land.”
Mayor Robert Mustow said the preceding natural disasters challenged and redefined the way we lived but did not redefine our sense of community and the values we share.
Cr Mustow said in the first long year after the flood, Council worked with its community to rebuild the Valley, which now stood on the threshold of change and opportunities.
“Council’s focus remains on continuing to build back better after the floods, while harnessing new opportunities to grow and diversify our economy and provide much-needed housing for our community,” he said
Council has developed four key directions for its future plans based on the feedback it received from the community consultation program.
- Strengthening our role in the region This direction is based on the Richmond Valley Growth Management Strategy, recently adopted by Council, and the remaining actions of the Rebuilding the Richmond Valley Recovery Plan. It also includes strategies from the Key Directions in Economic Development paper recently presented to the local business community for consultation. The direction focuses on building back better after the floods, identifying opportunities for our community to grow, strengthening our economy and providing more housing, jobs and services.
- Creating great places to live This direction is based on consultation with the community, including our two community surveys and the community online ideas board. It focuses on creating vibrant, liveable and safe communities – providing opportunities to learn, create and celebrate, enhancing our town centres and retail precincts and ensuring our parks, playgrounds, sports fields and community facilities are well maintained. It also looks at strategies to adapt to a changing climate and build resilience against future natural disasters.
- Protecting our unique environment This direction is based on our Sustainable Communities Strategy, recently adopted by Council after community consultation. It focuses on preserving our native bushland and biodiversity, maintaining healthy rivers, beaches and waterways, and helping our Valley transition to a circular economy in the way we manage our future resources.
- Delivering for our community This direction focuses on the role Richmond Valley Council will play in helping to deliver this plan. It includes Council’s civic leadership in engaging with and advocating for our community, as well as our responsibilities for managing community resources and providing great service.
Mr Macdonald said completion of the Draft Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program marked another important milestone in the Richmond Valley’s flood recovery, as these documents set in place long-term strategies for the community to grow and prosper.
“The CSP, together with other key strategic plans, such as the Richmond Valley Growth Management Strategy and Sustainable Communities Strategy, has created the framework for the objectives, strategies and actions that will help to deliver Council’s goals and priorities,” he said.
The Draft Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program, along with the Draft Operational Plan 2023-2024 (including Draft Financial Estimates 2023-2027), the Draft Long Term Financial Plan 2023-2033 and Draft Revenue Policy 2023-2024, are on public exhibition for comment until 4pm, Wednesday 14 June.
Any person may make a written submission during the exhibition period by sending it to Richmond Valley Council by:
Posting to Locked Bag 10 Casino NSW 2470
Hand delivery at either of Council’s Customer Service Centres in Casino and Evans Head
Online submission – by completing an online submission form via Council’s website.