Bathurst 2040 is Council’s third iteration of a Community Strategic Plan (CSP). Council adopted its first CSP in 2011. The CSP is a legislative requirement as part of the NSW Government’s Integrated Planning & Reporting Framework for Local Government, designed to guide the direction of Council’s projects and programs. The purpose of the CSP is to create a whole of community vision so that Council, other agencies and the community are working in the same direction. Council’s four year annual planning and budget then flows from the CSP. The Plan also provides a way for Council to be accountable to the community and the State Government through an annual report on how implementation is progressing and an end-of-term report for the community.
The Bathurst 2040 CSP has been developed by building upon the conversations, comments, suggestions and feedback that have taken place over the past 18 months in the development of such plans as the Cultural Vision, Housing Strategy, Destination Management Plan and Heritage Plan. Conversations with Council’s various community reference groups, covering areas such as tourism, heritage and natural resources, identified a number of priorities for each of those groups which have helped develop the CSP. Council’s annual village meetings also presented an opportunity to collate and canvass ideas from the village communities. Council has also sought comment from a wide variety of government agencies and community organisations, some of which have contributed to the development of this CSP.
Council actively encourages community participation in our governance and decision making processes. In fact, it is the essential ingredient successful decision making. The Community Engagement Strategy has been developed to guide the ongoing dialogue between Council and the community as we plan for our future. An informed and involved community is one of the key objectives outlined in Bathurst 2040, Council's Community Strategic Plan, Council is committed to having open, honest, respectful and truthful communication with the community and encourages the community to do the same. The community has told Council that the community should be involved in the development of the city and decision making. This Strategy aims to increase levels of engagement in a way that the community expects.
As part of its commitment to the Integrated Planning process, Bathurst Regional Council developed a Community Engagement Strategy and a policy framework in which to guide the Community Strategic Planning development and any future community consultation across the organisation.