Council endorses ‘open space’ plan

Anew open space strategy has been endorsed for Mount Gambier following extensive community consultation and auditing of various outdoor spaces.

Mount Gambier City Council last week endorsed the Mount Gambier Sport, Recreation and Open Space Strategy (SROSS).

Council’s City and Community Growth General Manager Tim Coote said the strategy was the first of its kind for the city and provided strategic direction for the future development and management of council’s 58 open spaces, including recreation, sporting, nature and public realm spaces.

“Based on a supply and demand analysis involving an audit of each open space area while taking into consideration the sport, recreation and community needs for the city, the strategy was informed through consultation with the community and various stakeholders which started in April 2021,” he said.

“As a result of the consultation we received feedback from more than 300 different stakeholders, including 16 state sporting organisations and 30 local sporting associations/clubs.

“Throughout the process it was evident that Mount Gambier has a robust sporting and recreation culture and council understands the importance of open spaces within the community, whether they are used for sporting activities, exercise, socialising with family and friends or walking the dog.”

Mr Coote said the strategy addressed current gaps in sport, recreation and open spaces across the city, based on the needs of the community now and into the future and aligns with the City of Mount Gambier Strategic Plan 2020-2024, council’s Disability Action and Inclusion Plan 2020-2024 and Regional Public Health Plan 2021-2026.

“It will also influence future long-term financial plans, annual business plan and budgets, asset management plans and works and maintenance plans,” he said.

“The strategy also proposes short, medium and longer term recommendations to provide and/or improve public spaces. This includes the development of additional site/precinct specific master plans and strategies and undertaking scoping projects for future works.

“It outlines six guiding principles to provide a framework as to how sport, recreation and open spaces can be delivered.”

Mount Gambier Mayor Lynette Martin said the document was an exciting and extensive piece of work that would enable the council to work towards its vision for open space.

“Council’s vision for open space is to create a network of accessible and connected high quality open spaces that encourage a range of physical activities and social opportunities for the Mount Gambier community and the guiding principles within the strategy will help us to continue to work towards achieving this vision,” Mayor Martin said.

“The (strategy) shows a commitment by council to the health and wellbeing of our community and through its strategic direction, it is envisaged that over time the outcomes will positively impact the health and quality of life of our residents.”

Consisting of two main reports including a need analysis report and the strategy, which focuses on providing direction and site recommendations, the strategy was developed in conjunction with Outerspace Landscape Architects and InsideEdge Sport and Leisure Planning.

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