Warialda approves of Vision 2020

July 29, 2008

The Warialda Strategy Plan drawn up by John Mongard was delivered to the community recently. The plan aims to provide vision and direction for Warialda for both the long and short term. More than forty people attended the meeting to hear Mr Mongard deliver his report. According to Councillor Catherine Egan, the report was enthusiastically received by those present.

The process to provide the information for the plan was similar to the one held recently in Bingara, where people were encouraged to call in to the shopfront to visit Mr Mongard to put forward their ideas for the town. Over 85 people were consulted in Warialda during the week long process in February this year. Those consulted included a community meeting and a series of separate meetings with special interest groups as well as the open-shop period of five days.

The open-shop initiated many informal discussions about Warialda. According to the Mongard Community plan, leadership is generally seen to be needed in Warialda to create positive changes in the future. Some of the comments made by residents included in the report are that

* partnerships should be formed between council and private organisations to provide services missing in town.

* the shire needs a central point that people will feel comfortable coming to for shopping

* Need to find a way to retain youth – there is not much for them here now

* A positive leader needs to rise up in town and start action (this suggestion was made more than once)

* Warialda need a 2020 type vision like Bingara has

* Further promote and encourage the "men’s shed"

* The town needs an action committee

* Pick a "crazy" point of difference for Warialda

The report details the key issues identified during the community workshop. Some of the points made were

* No leaders or elders taking an active role in moving the town forward

* People need to pitch together to make business work

* We need to return to doing things like we used to – like feeding ourselves

* There is no one in town to take on "crazy" ideas – it’s the "crazy" idea that brings tourists.

The report contains many other suggestions from residents for the future development of Warialda. If the comments made by the residents in the report are at all representative of the community, it would appear that Warialda residents view Bingara’s Vision 2020 in an extremely positive way, to the point of recommending that Warialda set up a similar progress organisation.

Compliments of The Bingara Advocate