Dare to Dream and save our shire

November 23, 2015

As residents and businesses of the Gwydir Shire face the multiple pressures of possible amalgamation and increased costs Vision 2020 president John Bishton is urging residents to consider what we can do to ‘Save our Shire.’

Ten years ago the southern end of the shire developed a vision for its future, and this has been vital in helping community groups to develop applications for funds and to focus their energies on reaching goals in areas like education and tourism.

“We are one shire and now more than ever we need to pull together, the same river that flows past my door flows out of the western end of the shire,” said deputy-mayor Councillor Catherine Egan.

“The tick-off rate from Bingara’s vision has been just amazing – it focused people’s energies into what could be achieved and now is the time to develop a shared vision across the shire.”

Facilitator Adam Blakester has over twenty years experience in creating and supporting regional sustainability and improved social communication.

“A shared vision doesn’t mean that every part of the shire has to want the same things, North Star and Upper Horton are quite distinct communities in different climate zones, but both with a strong sense of place and a strong equestrian tradition, to use just one example,” Mr Blakester explained.

“We are supporting a process for communities across the shire to create their own vision, as well as to create one for the shire as a whole.”

A Vision 2030 summit will be held at the Warialda Town Hall on Wednesday, November 25, starting at 9.30 and finishing at 3.30pm; lunch will be provided. For those unable to attend a day time meeting there will be an evening session from 5.30 to 7.30pm. Please RSVP to Garry Mc- Douall – 0429 834 281 for catering purposes.

Discussion in the meeting will be around questions of; what are we doing well, and how can we do it better, what assets – especially natural assets – do we have and how can we capitalize on them? How would we like our communities to look and feel in fifteen years time? What can we do to attract more residents to the shire, and what sort of residents will be happy and engaged? How can state and federal government policy be influenced to build stronger communities?


“The meeting welcomes everyone who has a vision for the future of their shire and is willing to share it,” said Mr Bishton.

“These events are always fun, because meeting other people with ideas creates a real buzz and we all go away with something new. As a parent and a business owner, I am delighted to be part of the vision.”

Submitted by Garry McDouall for Vision 2020 – 0428 834 281.