NEW multi-purpose hubs have been identified as the best way to handle community service needs in Warrnambool for the next decade and beyond.
A comprehensive review of the city’s expanding population has found potential for construction of five new hubs to meet a projected 23 per cent population increase to 42,068 by 2026.
The vision is outlined in a new draft plan and suggested policy document released this week for community comment.
Residential growth areas around Brierly, Dennington, north of the Merri along Wollaston Road, the north-east sector and near the eastern business sector have been proposed as the most suitable.
Existing service hubs at the Archie Graham Community Centre, children’s services centre and South West TAFE are all in the CBD.
Forecasts suggest the biggest increases in children, young people and people aged 70 years with Dennington-west Warrnambool, central-Botanic and north-east-racecourse zones as the main growth areas.
“These population trends will result in increased demand for community services including early years services, services for young people and programs and activities for older years residents,” the report said.
Multi-purpose hubs were seen as having potential for neighbourhood houses, youth groups, meeting spaces, emergency services, community health services, early years and family services, education programs, aged care, libraries and recreation.
Community consultation last year around plans to develop a community centre on the old Brierly reserve highlighted support for a multi-use facility.
City council director of community development Vicky Mason said hubs were considered to be the most effective and efficient way of delivering services.
“As well as anticipating need for council-provided services, the plan also forecasts the need for other services such as neighbourhood houses, community-based health centres, government schools and youth facilities,” she said.
“We are now asking people to provide feedback by 5pm October 11.”
The plan and policy documents can be downloaded from the council’s ‘yoursay’ website and comments submitted by email or in writing.