CORANGAMITE Shire councillors have praised residents at Derrinallum and Lismore for hours of hard work put into their local community plans.
The two plans, approved by council this week, were put together through surveys and public meetings over the past 12 months.
Input from 45 people helped shape Derrinallum’s community plan, representing 20 per cent of the town’s population, while 118 people — 41 per cent of Lismore’s population — participated in the town’s blueprint.
The Derrinallum plan included 15 projects, including improved signage, amenities and a walking track to Mount Elephant, while Lismore’s outlined 26 projects, including upgraded public toilets, a new heated swimming pool and upgrades to the town’s community bus.
Mayor Matt Makin said the strong response to the exercise was encouraging to councillors.
“The community has stood up and decided its future rather than council dictating it,” Cr Makin said.
“We’ve only received positive feedback from the entire process, so that’s very reassuring for the council.
“The fact that so many local people have contributed to the process gives a lot of confidence in the conclusions and will certainly help us target our expenditure in those towns over future years.
“A lot of people have put time and energy into this. It indicates the community have a lot of ownership of their plan and that it truly is representative of the community’s needs and wants.
“Most of the projects identified are about improving the livability of the towns... to give people a lot more pride in where they live and work.”
Councillor Chris O’Connor said the participation rates were higher than expected, particularly in Lismore.
“It’s amazing that 41 per cent of the community has come out and supported it,” he said.
“The only way I could think to get that turnout is to have something controversial in the plan, so I congratulate the community on its involvement.”
Both towns will receive $7500 from the current budget for varied projects identified in the plans, with a further $25,000 to be allocated in the 2012-2013 budget.