What is Nature's Best, Let's Plan the Rest all about?

    The District Council of Yankalilla must be responsive to the needs of our residents and ratepayers, both now and in to the future.

    From October 2019 to February 2020, we connected with people who live, work and play in the district to find out what's important to them.

    What we heard during this process has now informed the development of our draft Strategic Plan.

    Why is Council wanting to connect with the community on this topic?

    The Local Government Act 1999 says that Council must have a Strategic Management Plan. A comprehensive review of the Plan must be undertaken within two years after each general election of Council, and a process to ensure that members of the public are given reasonable opportunity to be involved in the development of this plan must be included.

    The District Council of Yankalilla is using this as an opportunity to develop a new Strategic Management Plan for 2020-2030.

    In line with our Connecting with our Community framework, Council is keen to open up a conversation with the community to listen, learn and identify what's important to local people.

    Through Nature’s Best, Let’s Plan the Rest we connected with the community through this strategic planning process with an aim to –

    • Collect valuable input, ideas and aspirations from community about what they want for their future to help inform our decision making for the Strategic Management Plan;

    • To build new relationships and/or improve and strengthen relationships with people who live, work and play in our district; 

    • To bring people, including our staff, along on the process of developing a relevant and well-considered Strategic Management Plan.

    When properly researched, designed and implemented, a Council’s Strategic Management Plan is a 'guiding light' for the organisation and the community, and will be the principal driver of key decision making and activity[1].

    [1] Guide to Preparing a Strategic Management Plan, Local Government Association of South Australia, 2012

    Where does a Strategic Management Plan 'sit' within Council operations?

    To support the Strategic Management Plan, several auxiliary operational plans, strategies and policies provide greater details and guide the strategic direction of the Council. 

    The main documents include our Long-Term Financial Plan (reviewed annually); Asset Management Plans (updated every four years); and our Annual Business Plan and Budget (performed annually). Other plans and programs also guide the direction of Council.

    The Strategic Management Plan provides a 'guiding light' for everything we do. What we’ve learnt from connecting with the community through this process will cascade into other plans, strategies and policies. 

    However, the District Council of Yankalilla wants to create a culture where we put people at the centre of everything we do[1]. We therefore see this as just the starting conversation and that the development and implementation of other plans being part of ongoing conversation and connection with community. 

    [1] Connecting with our Community, A framework to help plan how we communicate with and listen to people who are impacted by the decisions we make; District Council of Yankalilla, adopted 16 July 2019.

    I gave a really good idea but it didn't end up in the Strategic Plan. Why not?

    During Nature’s Best, Let’s Plan the Rest we heard from over 1,240 people who live, work and play in our district. We heard thousands of ideas, insights and opinions. 

    Every single idea we heard was included in the What We Heard report (PDF 17,640KB).

    All ideas and opinions are important for us to hear and a large part of this process has been about us collecting these ideas and collating them into themes.

    For example, at this strategic planning level, if you told us that you'd like more trees planting on the corner of your street, it might not mean that we wrote up your specific works request in to our strategic plan, but we would have added it to our list of ideas that connect to trees, or streetscapes, or the environment. 

    When we heard other ideas and opinions about the environment from people all across the district, we began to see that this was a topic of real importance to the people in our district. 

    In this example, our environment, and some key priorities within that theme have been included in our strategic plan and we'll identify the actions we need to take to deliver on it. 

    In addition to the theming process above, we also have other factors to consider when preparing what goes into our Strategic Management Plan. These include –

    • Legislative requirements – what services we are obliged to deliver;
    • Financial considerations – our budget, future funding opportunities;
    • Regional, state and federal policy and planning – where we fit in the broader public service context. 

    We can assure you that we are genuinely listening to your ideas and opinions throughout this entire process.