Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Strategic plan for Rochester

Rochester residents are invited to participate in the development of Committee for Rochester’s strategic plan.

July 11, 2014 3:34am

A consultant will work with Committee for Rochester to develop a strategic plan for the town.

With a $6000 Campaspe Shire grant and $20,000 from the Victorian Government, C4R engaged Sally Hirst to explore and evaluate potential projects and develop them into a strategic plan for Rochester.

C4R project officer Graeme Robertson said the plan would be developed through a consultative process, with the aim of setting directions for the next five years.

‘‘We had an initial meeting with her in May and she will come back later this month with material to promote further discussions,’’ he said.

Mr Robertson said Ms Hirst had a broad range of experience, including executive management roles at Museum Victoria, National Gallery of Victoria, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Parks Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

‘‘Her background in developing and managing high quality visitor experiences, establishing new business models for public place management and integrating commercial operations into community developments gives her a unique insight into the needs of her clients,’’ he said.

‘‘Sally is also working with Gannawarra Shire on a number of projects and also along the Victorian border on the Ports of the Murray project, so she has a good feel for this part of the state.’’

The next planning meeting will be on July 23 at 4pm in the Rochester and Elmore District Health Service function room.

Mr Robertson said the strategic plan aimed to benefit the entire Rochester community — residents and businesses.

‘‘Everyone is invited to participate in the development, particularly groups and businesses that will become beneficiaries of the plan as it is implemented,’’ he said.

To become involved, contact Mr Robertson on 0409236211.

With his contract extended until September, Mr Robertson said hoped to see the strategic plan completed.

‘‘Our target is to have it completed by the end of September,’’ he said.

With his contract due to end last week, Mr Robertson said a review of funding found there was enough money for him to continue in the role one day week until September 30.

‘‘It’s good because I’m really keen to get these projects up and running,’’ he said.

‘‘There is a lot of planning involved in the Mural Festival and it needs more sponsorship and local people involved, so I will put a fair bit of effort into that.

‘‘I will also be promoting the Moore St concept with the shire and the community.’’

Mr Robertson started in the role nearly two years ago, after retiring from an executive position with the Education Department in Bendigo, where he worked throughout the Loddon-Mallee region.

He was proud of what he had achieved in the past couple of years and hoped to continue working with the committee after his contract finished.

‘‘The strategic plan would have to be the biggest achievement, but in the first instance, getting C4R up and running and meeting monthly with good numbers,’’ he said.

‘‘(When I finish in the role) my intention is to continue to do voluntary work with the projects to help them move forward.

‘‘It’s been a really enjoyable experience. I think Rochester has a lot to offer. It’s a very friendly little town with excellent facilities.’’

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