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Community Strategic Plan

The Community Strategic Plan represents the highest level of strategic planning undertaken by a local council. All other plans developed by the council as part of the Integrated Planning and Reporting framework must reflect and support the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan.

The Community Strategic Plan should identify the main priorities and aspirations of the community, providing a clear set of strategies to achieve this vision of the future. Building the Community Strategic Plan takes time and must involve a whole-of-community engagement process. It is important to note that while the council is the custodian of the Community Strategic Plan, it may not be responsible for the delivery of all of the activities the Plan identifies. It is important that the Community Strategic Plan identifies who is responsible for its implementation, including other partners such as State agencies, non-government organisations, business partners and community groups.

The Community Strategic Plan essentially addresses four key questions for the community:

  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be in ten years’ time?
  • How will we get there?
  • How will we know when we have arrived?

The Community Strategic Plan must be based on the social justice principles of access, equity, participation and rights. It should also address the quadruple bottom line (social, environmental, economic and civic leadership) issues. It is recommended that a council uses a multi-disciplinary team to manage and implement the integrated planning process.

At the end of each council term a report is prepared by the council to the community which examines what progress has been made towards the achievement of outcomes identified in the Community Strategic Plan.

The ‘Community Strategic Plan’ chapter of the Integrated Planning and Reporting Manual provides detailed information and good practice examples.

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