Rural community planning : love in a dry climate

2017-06-02T01:09:46Z (GMT) by Remnant, Mark
This article looks at the experience of rural community engagement and planning in the light of some current academic observation. The work explores the challengesconfronting local government in working with rural communities as partners in addressing local priorities at a time of significant challenges for rural Victoria. Made up of ten communities located across 8500 square kilometres, the Buloke Shire crosses the boundaries of the Wimmera and Mallee regions of Victoria. Buloke Shire Council used the Community Building Initiative (CBI), a Victorian Government program funded by the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD), to provide a platform for community engagement, planning and development. This paper reflects on why this participatory approach is so important in rural Victorian shires. What are some of the challenges in moving to a participatory approach? The paper discusses the reality that participatory planning, in Buloke as in most settings, is very much a 'work in progress.'

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