Residents have opportunity to devise a new 20 year vision for Warrnambool

LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE: Warrnambool City Council mayor Kylie Gaston with Cr Rob Anderson and Cr Michael Neoh in front of the W2040 sign on the city's Civic Green. Picture: Rob Gunstone
LET'S TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE: Warrnambool City Council mayor Kylie Gaston with Cr Rob Anderson and Cr Michael Neoh in front of the W2040 sign on the city's Civic Green. Picture: Rob Gunstone

We’re asking people what they like about Warrnambool, what they would keep, what they might change and what might be added to improve the lives of the city’s residents.

Mayor Kylie Gaston

WARRNAMBOOL residents have the opportunity to influence how people work, live and play in the city in the year 2040.

Warrnambool City Council will start a community conversation about the aspirations and expectations of residents for the city over the next 20 years.

The Warrnambool 2040 (W2040) plan will create a vision, and identify priorities and goals for the city, through an extensive, community-led process.

Warrnambool mayor Kylie Gaston said this was the first time the council had embarked on a long-term plan for the city.

“We want to hear from the community about where they see Warrnambool being in 2040,” Cr Gaston said.

“It’s great to have a long-term vision. We have our four-year council plan, but that is more of a corporate plan on where we are going.

“If we can get the 2040 long-term vision happening from the community on where they see us being and how they would like Warrnambool to be, then we can start to plan for the future.”

Cr Gaston said there would be extensive community consultation.

“We have lots of active hubs going out across Warrnambool,” she said.

“We will be speaking to the schools, we’ve got surveys, we want get a good gauge on where people want to see our community go.

“With that information it will help us shape the way we make council decisions. We are really interested in engaging the community with this process.

“This is a different proposition, where we’re asking residents to imagine a time when they are really a generation older and when the children of today will be driving the community and making key decisions.

“There will be heaps of opportunities to talk, listen and be part of the conversation.”

Councillors are looking forward to starting conversations with the community as to how they envisage the municipality will be in 2040.

“The possibilities are exciting,” Cr Gaston said.

“I still want us to be clean, green and healthy with heaps of connections for the community. I want the city to be well-planned, with lots of community areas where they can congregate together.

“Technology (is one thing) we can’t completely predict, but there will be changes coming. I think we want Warrnambool to really make the most of any technological changes and move with the times, while maintaining a spirit of community and being together.”

Councillor Mike Neoh said his vision for 2040 included a blossoming Deakin University campus and a fast rail network.

“Our vision for Warrnambool is for it to be a cosmopolitan city,” Cr Neoh said.

“I would hope that we had a great diversity. We want many overseas students studying at Deakin Warrnambool and have a really vibrant university. We need a fast rail to Melbourne so we can have more employment opportunities for people in Warrnambool. Councillor Rob Anderson agreed with Cr Neoh, on the need for an improved Melbourne to Warrnambool rail service

“Obviously the fast rail to Warrnambool would really set the city up as a cosmopolitan city,” he said.

The community engagement process will be delivered in two stages.

Phase one will run from April to June. It will raise awareness and understanding of the Warrnambool 2040 plan aspirations for the city.

Phase two will run from September to October and will include developing a shared vision and priorities. 

To find out more go to www.w2040.com.au, email communityplanning@warrnambool.com.au or call 5559 4959.

The public can also join the conversation on Facebook, by visiting the CONNECT Warrnambool page.