People Place Future

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Thanks to everyone who contributed their ideas, input and feedback during the three phases of People Place Future.

Council finalised the strategic documents at the Council meeting on 28 September.

View the documents here:


Read the Community Engagement Report from Phase 3(PDF, 2MB) (Submissions on draft documents, Jul - Aug 2021)

Read the Community Panel's report(PDF, 212KB) from Phase 2 (Deliberative Phase, Mar - May 2021)

Read the Community Engagement Findings report(PDF, 7MB) from Phase 1 (Participatory Phase, Jan-Feb 2021)

Read the Health & Wellbeing Community Engagement Report June 2021(PDF, 4MB)

Read the Health & Wellbeing Data Profile(PDF, 9MB)

Community Panel update

Following a broad community survey in Phase 1, we convened a group of 35 randomly selected community members to form a deliberative panel in Phase 2. Collectively, the panel spent more than 900 hours hearing from experts, analysing data, deliberating on important topics, and preparing principles and recommendations. Thanks to the hard work and commitment of all Panel members. 

Read the Community Panel's report(PDF, 212KB) from the Phase 2 deliberative engagement 

The report was prepared by the Panel and presented to Council on 19 May.
Please note: given the tight timelines, and a desire to focus on the content and overall intention, the report is not intended to be a 'polished' document. The process required any changes to be approved by the whole panel; while the content was all endorsed by the panel, a final proof-read was not completed.

Prior to the commencement of the deliberative panel, Council committed to using the panel recommendations to the greatest extent possible in the development of the 4 year Council Plan.

As we progress this strategic planning process, Council is committed to continuing our work with the two Registered Aboriginal parties of Council managed areas listed under the Cultural Heritage Legislation; Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation and Eastern Maar.

Reflections from the Panel

Session 5: 15 May


Session 4: 5 May


Session 2: 20 April


Session 1: 28 March


The make up of the Panel

From the 239 people who expressed an interest, 35 people were chosen at random - by independent organisation Sortition - to match the demographic make up of our shire. The below diagram shows the census data on the left, and the confirmed panel members on the right.  

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Read the Background Report(PDF, 5MB) that has been prepared for the Panel.

Find out more about the Community Panel in our FAQ(PDF, 280KB)

Thanks to everyone - almost 1200 people - who took the time to have their say about the future of Surf Coast Shire through the survey, online submissions or in person discussions during Phase 1 of the People Place Future engagement. 

Read the Community Engagement report(PDF, 7MB) from Phase 1

Your input will inform a long-term community vision for the shire and a 4 year Council Plan, as well as other strategic documents Council will develop during the year, including the 10 Year Financial Plan and 10 year Asset Management Plan.


 Community members talk about their vision for Surf Coast Shire

 Surf Coast Shire Mayor Libby Stapleton talks about People Place Future


The following links provide background information or useful links to relevant documents. This information was also provided to Community Panel members to inform their deliberations. 

Our People Place Future Discussion Paper(PDF, 3MB) gives an overview of some key local issues, opportunities and dilemmas.

Council strategies and resources: 

Council Plan 2017-2021 (incorporating the Municipal Health and Wellbeing Plan)
2020-2021 Annual Budget
Asset Renewal Funding Strategy
Community Development Policy, Framework and Action Plan
Healthy Eating and Active Living Action Plan
Alcohol and Other Drugs Action Plan
Rural Hinterland Futures Strategy
Accessible and Inclusive Surf Coast Shire 2014-2024(PDF, 812KB)
Age Friendly Strategy(PDF, 5MB)
Creative Places Strategy(PDF, 242KB)
Prosperous Places (Surf Coast Economic development research)(PDF, 1MB)
Our Financial Story(PDF, 3MB)
Towards Environmental Leadership & Climate Emergency Info Paper 2021(PDF, 1MB)
Surf Coast Shire Climate Change Survey Results(PDF, 2MB)
Community Greenhouse Gas Emissions Profile(PDF, 1MB)

External resources:
VIDEO: Wadawurrung Healthy Country Plan - paleert tjaara dja (2020-2030)
Wadawurrung Healthy Country Plan (PDF, 12MB)
Wadawurrung Healthy Council Summary(PDF, 7MB)
Surf Coast Distinctive Area and Landscape Draft Statement of Planning Policy
Barwon Climate Projections 2019(PDF, 2MB)
Barwon South West Renewable Energy Roadmap(PDF, 6MB)
G21 Regional Growth Plan
Great Ocean Road Region Visitor Economy 2015-2025 


What is the new Local Government Act?

The Local Government Act 2020 introduced a number of changes to the way Council's go about working with communities to develop key strategic documents.  Councils are now required to undertake specific community engagement processes, during the development of the Council Plan and Community Vision, as well as for an Asset Plan and 10 year Financial Plan. Our People Place Future project encompasses these engagement requirements. 

Why is Council creating a Community Vision?

Most of us probably have an idea in our mind of what we want for the future. Having a forward view is an important step in planning and preparing for what is to come. Creating a community vision is an opportunity to combine individual ideas into a single collective statement. Being deliberate about the future and putting your aspirations in writing is an important step in goal setting.

The Victorian Government introduced a new Local Government Act in 2020 which requires all Councils to facilitate a Community Vision on behalf of their community. The vision will inform the development of the Council Plan – Council’s four year strategic document.

What is deliberative engagement?

Deliberative engagement is a process where people get to explore a topic in a much deeper way, before considering – or deliberating – on a recommendation.

Surf Coast Shire Council will be using deliberative engagement in the second phase of People Place Future.

Once the survey has closed we will invite a panel of community members to review the comments people have provided. This panel will be comprised exclusively of citizens from our community – neither Councillors nor Council officers will sit on the panel. The panel members will be randomly selected from a larger group of people who express an interest in taking part.

A process known as random stratified sampling will be used to make sure the panel composition is a fair and accurate representation of our shire community. Amongst other things it will ensure there is the right gender balance, that age groups are represented and that there is right proportion of people from our different townships.

Independent facilitators will make the selection and will work with the panel members throughout the deliberative phase.

We will be inviting people to express their interest in being a member of the community panel in February. It’s likely the panel will meet on three separate days to fully explore, and deliberate on, the issues.

When the panel meets they can ask to hear from experts and community leaders to get a better understanding of the issues before they members make their recommendations.

We are excited to provide this deeper level of community engagement on this important project.

To ensure we seek input from a broad and diverse range of community members through the People Place Future project, Council is working with the following consultants:

Place Score
Place Score will deliver and analyse the surveying process that will kick start the People Place Future project, seeking out a broad range of community insights. 

Mosaic Lab
Leaders in the field of deliberative engagement, Mosiac Lab will oversee the deliberate engagement process, and facilitate the Community Panel.

Sortition Foundation 
Specialists in recruitment and representative sampling, Sortition will oversee the selection of members for our Community Panel.


 Community members talk about their vision for Surf Coast Shire

 Surf Coast Shire Mayor Libby Stapleton talks about People Place Future