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Help shape the future of the Hervey Bay Esplanade

11 March, 2019

Fraser Coast residents will have the opportunity to help develop a 20 year vision for the Hervey Bay Esplanade through a ‘deliberative democracy’ process that gets underway today.

Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the seven month process would provide Council with a clear direction on the community’s vision and priorities for the Esplanade, which would be used to inform future planning and budgets.

“The Esplanade is one of the best recognised and most loved features of the Fraser Coast, and helps define Hervey Bay’s identity and reputation as a great place to work, live and holiday,” he said.

“As our region continues to grow and expand, the community’s aspirations for the foreshore are becoming more diverse and complex. 

“This deliberative democracy process will assist Council in identifying the community’s values, priorities and vision for the Esplanade over the next two decades.”

Fraser Coast Regional Council CEO Ken Diehm said the process would allow the community to be informed about the status of projects identified in Hervey Bay tourist precinct master plans, and have the opportunity to discuss potential new projects for the area.

“The first phase will include wider community engagement over the next month that will provide everyone an opportunity to have their say through an online survey, targeted group discussions and drop-in open houses,” he said.

“The second phase will involve a panel of up to 50 randomly selected community members who will come together over several months to discuss and consider in detail a vision for the Hervey Bay Esplanade.

“The panel is independently selected and representative of the wider community demographics in terms of age, gender and geography.

“Following their deliberations, the panel will then write a set of clear recommendations which will be presented in a report to Council in September.”

Mr Diehm said deliberative democracy was about placing people closer to the affairs of government by giving community members adequate time, information and support to grapple with complex issues.

“Deliberative democracy is being used more and more by governments at all levels to ensure the community has more involvement in and a direct influence on decision making,” he said.

“This process puts conversations, diverse perspectives and deeper understanding at the centre of the decision, rather than relying on the usual polling and voting techniques.

“This deliberative democracy project is a first for the Fraser Coast Regional Council, and it may be a process we adopt more into the future.”

More information including fact sheets, background information, current plans and the online survey is available here 

Two drop-in open houses where residents can come along to have their say will be held at:

23 March, 2019 
Bill Fraser Park, Torquay
9.00 am - 1.00 pm

30 March, 2019
Urangan Pier, Urangan
9.00 am - 1.00 pm