Community to play critical role in future of towns

Published on 04 August 2023

Community members sitting around a table during deliberative engagement

Hepburn Shire Council is seeking volunteers to join a Community Engagement Pool to provide input into the future of the Shire’s townships. 

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said that the Community Engagement Pool members would help develop various components of our strategic planning project, Future Hepburn.

Future Hepburn is a once in a generation program of major strategic planning projects that Council is undertaking to protect and enhance the natural and built environment and to improve liveability in our Shire.  Council will develop a range of plans and strategies in 2023 and 2024 that will guide the future of townships across the Shire. These include township Structure Plans, Urban Design Frameworks, Neighbourhood Character Assessments, Integrated Transport Strategy, Rural Hepburn: Agricultural Land and Rural Settlement Strategy.

Council is looking to establish five Community Panels in the townships of Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford/Hepburn Springs, Glenlyon and Trentham, thereby delivering on its commitment to community-inclusive engagement. Each panel will be made up of 21 randomly selected community members drawn from the Future Hepburn Community Engagement Pool in line with Council’s Community Engagement Policy.

“The panels will be made up of people who live in or own property in the townships and surrounding areas, with representatives from across all age groups and genders. Community members don’t need to have specialist skills to be on the panel, just a passion for their community and a willingness to get involved in shaping their township’s future.”

“By volunteering for the Community Engagement Pool, members may be randomly selected to join a Community Panel to help develop draft township structure plans for either Clunes, Creswick, Daylesford/Hepburn Springs, Glenlyon and Trentham. Structure plans outline how Council will protect and enhance the existing character of our townships and guide appropriate growth and development to 2050,” said Cr Hood.

Community Panel members will be asked to attend three in-person sessions held during October and November. Community members not randomly selected will still have opportunities to provide feedback and participate in engagement activities.

Just over 1,000 letters were sent out to randomly selected community members inviting them to register to get involved in the Community Engagement Pool. Community members can also nominate themselves to be involved by registering their interest at

Applications close on Sunday 3 September 2023.