Planning ahead for our rural communities

Published on 21 April 2017

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MidCoast Council’s strategic planning team has commenced the development of a Rural Economic Diversity Strategy (REDS) for the region, appointing specialist consultants to work alongside them in preparing this important guide for future landuse planning.

While the key purpose of the REDS project is to give direction to and underpin a new, region-wide, local environmental plan for the MidCoast Council area, the strategy will proactively identify a diverse range of economic growth opportunities for MidCoast’s rural areas, establishing a solid platform for the region’s future sustainability.  City Plan Services, with sub-consultants Aurora Research & Development and MJD Environmental, will manage the project in collaboration with MidCoast Council and a range of other key stakeholders and government agencies.

“By concentrating our focus on the region’s rural landscape, we aim to highlight opportunities for diversification, identify constraints to development, and create positive social, economic and environmental benefits for our rural communities into the future”, explains Roger Busby, MidCoast Council’s Manager, Strategic Planning.

The REDS project will also dovetail into the development of a strategic planning framework that is consistent with regional priorities identified for the MidCoast region in the Hunter Regional Plan 2036. These priorities include supporting the region’s visitor economy, protecting its productive landscapes, managing water catchments and protecting the area’s environment and natural assets.

“The Rural Economic Diversity Strategy will provide an important step forward in consolidating plans from all three former regions, with a particular focus on the development and diversification of our rural sector for future generations”, Roger added.

Now underway, the REDS project is anticipated to be completed by December 2017. “The outcome will impact people from across the entire region, so the process will involve engaging with key stakeholders and local communities throughout the strategy’s development phase”, said Roger.

To stay updated, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au where updated information and details of how to get involved will be provided as the project progresses.