With two days remaining for residents to provide their response, Kempsey Shire Council have reported record-breaking engagement with their draft operational plan.
Coronavirus presented a unique environment for council to engage with the community, in response they turned to digital platforms as a means to both alert residents to the draft operational plan and to give them a chance to make submissions.
The plan, which is in essence the local government equivalent to the annual budget, outlines expenditure of $23 million on the road network, $17.5 million on water supply, $7 million on local parks and recreation facilities and a $16 million investment in local commercial business.
After council approved the draft plan for community engagement at the April meeting, it has been on display on council's engagement site Your Say Macleay, supported by an intense social media and electronic newsletter campaign.
More than 750 people have engaged with the page, highlighting issues including sporting facilities at South West Rocks, upgrades to public spaces, flying fox management at Rudder Park and a second traffic bridge across the Macleay in Kempsey as priorities.
Kempsey Shire Council General Manager Craig Milburn thanked the community for getting involved while calling for more submissions.
"We've been really pleased with the enthusiasm the community has shown in engaging with this important planning document - positive or negative, the comments we receive help us with our prioritisation and planning," Mr Milburn said.
"I'd love to see more submissions before the engagement period ends on Friday. If you don't agree with us, or with other submissions received so far, then let us know. The next step is for us to look at how we can tighten the budget in response to Coronavirus. That's when it is vital to know what the community see as a priority."
The 2020-21 draft Operational Plan and associated documentation can be viewed at the council's online engagement hub Your Say Macleay Review the documents, ask a question and make a submission at https://yoursay.macleay.nsw.gov.au/20-21plans