Monday, July 20, 2009

Future Flowerdale outcomes

The Future Flowerdale workshop was held at the Community Hall on Sunday 19th July. There was a big turnout with the crowd of approximately 150 people at its peak.

The purpose of the workshop was to get Community input into the future of Flowerdale. The workshop got off to a testy start as the community wanted to "get on with it" rather than go through the exercises that were proposed by the facilitators. Once we got through that we went into a presentation by John Burgess and me (Pete) on what was already underway, including:

  • A new CFA ultra light tanker has been confirmed by the CFA
  • The new kinder has been identified by VBRRA as a priority project and community consultations are underway regarding the location
  • A community house has also been identified as a priority project and the location is part of the community consultation process
  • An Integrated Planning Office or "One Stop Shop" building advisory centre. This is a Flowerdale Recovery Committee initiative as Flowerdale was left off the list for the VBRRA Building Advisory Centres. We will have information to step people through the process.
  • A memorial has been identified as a priority project
  • A "Cultural" Precinct on the rec reserve incorporating an Arts Studio, Mens Shed and Communal Garden
  • Picnic Ground at Moores Rd Reserve
  • 300 tonnes of timber has been made available by Parks Victoria and is being sold to community at a discount via the local mill
The session then went into capturing the needs and wants of the community and there were plenty of ideas thrown in. After lunch we went back to some more facilitator's exercises for people to pick one priority. This was despite objections from members of the FRC and me that this would limit the discussion and could cause things to drop off.

The key areas that came up (with a short summary) were:

Communications - Mobile, Broadband, TV, Radio, Emergency Services, Warnings
Recreation - The need for recreation for people of all ages across a wide range of activities
Water and Sustainability - covering tanks, the creek, blackwater, grey water etc
One Flowerdale - One postcode, one town, effectively between the welcome signs
Community House - Covered the need for a multi purpose facility to provide a space for health services, kids and youth, clubs, classes and many more activities
Roads and Bridge - Seal the roads, keep the bridge, beautify the roadsides
Transport - Connect to Kinglake West service, school bus
Education - Covered area for kids, kindergarten, childcare, school bus

(I am doing this from memory and I think I have listed them all... comment if I have left things out)

Overall it was a long day and there were times when the crowd (me included) got frustrated but at the end of the day we got a lot of things on the table. There were things that didn't get covered including:

  • What safety measures do we need to put in place to prevent such disasters and losses in the future?
  • What character is desired for the town and should there be some planning guidelines?
  • What can we do for economic development and jobs in Flowerdale?
  • How do we get the population back to a level that can sustain the things that Flowerdallians want?
  • Does Flowerdale need a town centre?

Some of these issues were discussed at the Community Workshop on the 19th April and in discussions with Kerry from VBRRA today she assured me that information that has been gathered in any of the Community Forums or meetings can go into the Community Recovery Plan. The next step will be to get the typed up notes from the workshop and for a meeting with the FRC and VBRRA to take place within the next week to start to pull the plan together.

The meeting was an important step in moving forward on the recovery journey and thanks to everyone who contributed. In future the FRC will look to be the primary facilitators in these forums. Feel free to add your thoughts and comments below.

I will post the video of the kids performance once I upload the video.


  1. Most important thing out of the Education discussion was a group concensus that there is a need to have all childrens services (childrens's health, child care, kinder and school) in very close proximity to one another (if not the same building complex), in a location that is as close as possible to the demographic "centre" of Flowerdale. There is overlap and synergy in these educational needs with the needs of the Commnity House. Coupled with this longer term vision is the need to address the immediate needs of the Kinder.


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