At its December Council Meeting, Greater Shepparton City Council adopted the RiverConnect Strategic Plan 2023-2028 which outlines future priorities and goals aimed at improving the region’s connection to our rivers.
RiverConnect is a community project which aims to see the Goulburn and Broken Rivers recognised as the life and soul of the Shepparton and Mooroopna communities. Commencing in 2005, the program has enabled partners from local government, land management agencies, Traditional Owners, educational organisations, stakeholders and community members to come together to identify and action shared priorities for the region.
The previous 2017-2022 Strategic Plan nurtured the community’s respect for, use and love of the rivers and wetlands by increasing access, awareness, participation and care of the river environment and its cultural heritage.
A new Strategic Plan was needed for the next five years, with extensive community consultation taking place in August and September to gather feedback. Following this, the final Strategic Plan was compiled by Council and the document was officially endorsed on Tuesday.
The new Plan outlines several actions and targets under six strategic priorities of engage the community, inspire the education sector, improve health and wellbeing, enhance accessibility and care of the river environment, showcase the river environment, and nurture partnerships and good governance. Each of these priorities are guided by the vision of people, rivers and nature caring for each other. The Plan also outlines several long term goals for 2030 based on the themes of care, access, awareness and participation.
Mayor, Councillor Shane Sali thanked the community members who provided feedback on the draft document which helped shape the final Plan adopted by Council.
“Community consultation is always an important part of compiling Strategic Plans such as this one. The community are the drivers of our region and therefore need to be consulted when adopting future goals and strategies,” he said.
“We achieved some great outcomes as part of the 2017-2022 Plan, including funding for the shared path network, installing the Reedy Swamp outdoor classroom and extensive work to protect local turtles.
“We look forward to seeing what else can be achieved by RiverConnect over the next five years.”
At the December Council Meeting, Council also appointed five community representatives to the RiverConnect Implementation Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is made up of 18 representatives, including five community members, and is responsible for advising on and supporting the implementation of the River Connect Strategic Plan and associated actions.
To view the RiverConnect Strategic Plan 2023-2028, view the attached link or visit Council’s website greatershepparton.com.au