Ballina Major Regional Centre Strategy
Ballina2035 is an aspirational blueprint to advance and consolidate Ballina as a major regional centre on the NSW North Coast.
Ballina Major Regional Centre Strategy 2015-2035
The Ballina2035 Strategy seeks to enhance Ballina as a key economic centre built on a strong community and exceptional environmental features and recreational opportunities.
Click here to view the interactive flipping book of the strategic plan, or alternatively a copy of the strategy can be downloaded below:Ballina Major Regional Centre Strategy (15mb pdf)
Ballina2035 Community Engagement
This strategy is founded on comprehensive community engagement involving the following:
- Futures Forum
- Council held an evening discussion forum at the commencement of the project, involving 47 randomly selected members of the Ballina community. The forum sought to establish community views in response to the following: What does Ballina becoming a major regional centre mean for our community? What are the opportunities it could create? What are the challenges which need to be considered?
- Civic Panel
- The Civic Panel, comprising 14 community members from the Futures Forum participants, has met at key stages during the project to provide feedback and act as a community “sounding board” to the project’s progress.
- Staff Forum
- 18 Council staff members representing all groups within Council were invited to a discussion forum where the same questions from the Futures Forum were considered.
- Council held a Forum for representatives of Government agencies to meet and discuss views of various agencies within the context of a strategic plan for the future of Ballina.
- Council invited 24 community groups to engage with members of the project team via various means. Eleven of these groups have participated in the project. Project team members gave presentations and invited open discussion and mapping of concerns, experiences and aspirations to directly feed into the project.
- Presentations to Schools
- To gain youth input in to the project, local schools were invited to receive a brief presentation from the project team to facilitate student input in terms of their experiences and thoughts for the future of Ballina. Three schools participated, with students from years six and ten engaged in an interactive workshop. A series of maps were made using the sMap social mapping tool through this process. Council’s Youth Council was also consulted and has had input in to the project.
- Newspaper Articles
- Articles (six in total) which gave the community background to the project’s progress and invited thought on key issues were written and published over a six week period in the Ballina Advocate. The process instigated letters and emails to Council, and stimulated the use of the sMap and Instagram tools.
- Creative Workshops
- There were four workshops of 2.5 hours each held, targeted at grandparents and grandchildren or older residents and their younger friends or relatives, which were designed to bring generations together to share experiences of the Ballina community and what participants like about living in Ballina, through paver-based art. Following the workshops, the pavers were fired and have been incorporated into the Wigmore Arcade redevelopment, providing a durable record of what is important about our community to different generations. Approximately 60 people were involved in these workshops.
- Ballina Shire Council was the first organisation in Australia to use sMap, which is an interactive online mapping tool with which community members are able to map points of interest and post comments and suggestions for Ballina’s future. A total of 62 maps were produced with over 500 points of interest plotted using sMap.
- Council set up Instagram hashtag - #ballinafuture and asked that people tag photos they have of what they like, or dislike about Ballina, or tag photos of what they would like to see in Ballina in the future.
- Council utilised the social media platform Facebook to notify and engage with our community. The ‘Ballina2035’ Facebook page received over 750 page ‘likes’ and 92 ‘comments’, with over 11,000 people ‘reached’ through the platform.
- Stage 1 Public Exhibition
- Council exhibited reporting and information based on the community engagement undertaken to seek further feedback prior to preparing this strategy document. The exhibition information included: Context Information; Strategic Question Sheets; Background Report; and Technical/Specialist Studies.
Peer Review Panel
- In association with the finalisation of the draft strategy, Council established an Industry Peer Review Panel to review the proposed strategy approach and actions, with a view to providing critical feedback and additional ideas on the delivery of the strategy objectives from an industry perspective. The purpose of the panel was to provide an industry based testing point for approaches and ideas to support practical and innovative preparation and implementation of Ballina 2035.
- Council publicly exhibited a final draft strategy, inviting further community feedback, between December 2015 and February 2016.
- Traditional Media
- Additional to the above, conventional advertising (through local media), media releases and Council’s own community publication (“Community Connect”) have been utilised to raise community awareness of the project.
For more information on Council’s community engagement activities please refer to the following summary report:
A ‘Civic Panel’ was formed to advise Council directly on the preparation of the strategy. Members were selected from participants of the Ballina Futures Forum, which was made up of randomly selected members of the community. The Civic Panel met on five occasions during the development of the strategy, to provide input and review draft material at key stages. The Civic Panel’s role involved the following:
- July 2014 – Overview of the project. Confirmed the role of the Civic Panel and the terms of reference. Review of material summarising the outcomes of the Futures Forum, including key ideas and core values distilled from feedback provided at the forum.
- September 2014 – Overview of the roles of local government and scope of Council activities. Update on community engagement activities. Feedback on proposed technical studies to be prepared to inform the strategy.
- March 2015 – Update on progress of technical studies. Feedback on proposed structure of first stage public exhibition material. Feedback on proposed community engagement ideas.
- May 2015 – Feedback on draft community engagement package. Update on progress of technical studies. Confirmation of proposed community engagement strategy.
- September 2015 – Overview of community feedback from public exhibition. Review of and feedback on structure and content of working draft strategy.
Open Space and Public Domain Embellishment
Enhancement of open space and the public domain was a key outcome that emerged from the community engagement underpinning the Ballina Major Regional Centre Strategy. As part of the strategy’s preparation, a number of ideas for improvements to open space and other public areas were explored, with a number of these also illustrated. The illustrated ideas were exhibited for public comment in 2015.
The key illustrations prepared as part of the strategy are available to view below. In viewing these plans (with the exception of the Pop Denison Park Master Plan), it is important to recognise that these are not plans that will be implemented, but rather the plans show ideas and possibilities for changes and improvements to several areas in Ballina. The Ballina 2035 Strategy includes actions to support the embellishment of these areas over time, including the preparation of detailed and site specific plans to guide redevelopment and enhancement.
- Town Square (idea to create a town square area in the Ballina CBD area)
- Cherry Street Upgrade (idea to enhance the streetscape in Cherry Street between River Street and Tamar Street)
- Kingsford Smith Drive and Spit (idea to enhance the open space area along Kingsford Smith Drive and the beach area known as the spit)
- Serpentine and Pioneer Park (idea to upgrade facilities and overall landscape at The Serpentine beach area and adjoining parkland)
The Pop Denison Park Master Plan is different to the above mentioned plans because it has been endorsed by Ballina Shire Council for implementation, having being subject to a more detailed level of planning and site specific community engagement. This plan can be downloaded below:
Strategy Background Documents
Ballina Futures Forum Outcomes Report (247kb pdf)
Provides a summary of outcomes of the Ballina Futures Forum, which involved discussions with a group of randomly selected members of the Ballina community members, held at the Ballina RSL on 20 May 2014.
Reference Material Synopsis Guide (532kb pdf)
Provides a summary of key documents relevant to planning for the future of Ballina, together with web links to those documents.
BMRCS Background Paper (19mb pdf)
Provides detailed background information on the strategy’s development, including planning context, community engagement techniques employed and planned, alignment with NSW planning reform objectives, and information regarding key trends, issues, aspirations, ideas and outcomes associated with the delivery of the project.
Housing Resilience Investigation and Options Study
Housing Needs and Opportunities Analysis
Development Feasibility Analysis (contact Council)
Industrial & Commercial Land Audit Update
Historic Influences & Elements
Multi-purpose Sports Facility Investigation (contact Council)
To support and inform the preparation of the strategy, Council prepared, or engaged consultants to prepare, a number of technical studies relating to a number of key topic areas above.
Contact Council's Strategic and Community Facilities Group, Ph 6686 1284.
visit the strategy facebook page facebook.com/Ballina2035