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Shine Harcourt Leanganook

Plan Harcourt is a Council document that integrates two separate but interrelated projects exploring spatial land use planning, town centre design and activation, and local economic development initiatives. The two projects are:
The Harcourt Framework Plan
Shine Harcourt Leanganook

How was Shine Harcourt Leanganook prepared?

In parallel to the preparation of the Harcourt Framework Plan, Council’s Economy and Culture unit has prepared Shine Harcourt Leanganook to provide a strategic economic vision for Harcourt that reflects the energy, ideas and wisdom of the local community. Shine Harcourt Leanganook utilised a community-driven model based around ideation and creativity to conceive of new opportunities for economic growth. Local residents and business owners participated in workshops that generated aspirations for spatial change, public realm improvements, new business and community partnerships. The community input was refined by project consultant, Hello City, and inputs were used to formulate a locally validated economic stimulus roadmap.

While the two projects have been undertaken utilising different methodologies, the overall directions are harmonised in one single document titled Plan Harcourt.

The plan finds that:

  • Sustainable growth in Harcourt is achievable and desirable
  • That local place values and attributes can form the basis for new growth
  • Town centre activation can improve the sense of place and drive visitation and investment
  • Natural assets can be leveraged to attract capital investment
  • Tourism and visitation remain vital to future prosperity and sense of identity
  • Local capacity can drive partnerships and projects at the community level

What community consultation occurred?

The Shine Harcourt Leanganook consultation process started by establishing the Shine Harcourt Partnership. The Partnership included representatives from key local organisations, growers, Landcare, the Harcourt Progress Association, business operators and consultants, Harcourt Cooperative Cool Stores, State government and Council. The group has guided and championed the Shine Harcourt Leanganook project throughout.

Community engagement activities included the Shine Harcourt Ideas-a-thon held in May 2019 at the Harcourt Bowling Club, and the Ideas Lab held one week later. More than 75 people attended the Ideas-a-thon, competing in 18 teams to generate over 1,000 ideas for the future of Harcourt. The Ideas Lab was attended by 35 delegates from around the region, Melbourne and interstate. The discussions explored the opportunities, challenges and barriers to economic change, and the work required to bring new ideas to fruition.

How will the Shine Harcourt Leanganook ambitions be realised?

The ambitions are the five big strategic directions for Harcourt. Considered together they form the basis of an economic vision for the future. Think of these as a guide and a touchstone for decision making. The delivery mechanisms are a collection of project ideas that have the potential to deliver each of the ambitions. These projects are ideas that have emerged directly from the community, or are evolutions or alternatives of those ideas developed during the Ideas Lab or by Hello City consultants. The ideas have been tested and refined, and have high levels of support in the community. They represent only one way of making the ambitions a reality and there are countless other pathways that would be equally as effective. Council’s role in the realisation of these ideas ranges between leading, partnering and advocating.

  • Leading: Projects under the direct auspice of Council as regulatory and/or funding body, which have an established implementation pathway, i.e. amendments to the Planning Scheme and capital works projects.
  • Partnering: Projects which require additional investigation, planning and possible co-funding between Council, State and Federal governments, and delivery with community partners, i.e. public art initiatives focused on the town centre and entrance points.
  • Advocating: Projects that may be instigated by the community at any point in time, with or without Council involvement, which will contribute to the overall vitality and strength of the community.

How has the Shine Harcourt Leanganook ambitions and recommendations informed Plan Harcourt?

The ambitions of Shine Harcourt Leanganook that relate to strategic land use planning and urban design have been considered in the preparation of the draft Plan Harcourt. However, not all recommendations have been included for a number of reasons. The Victorian State Government has specific policies that allow only certain types of content to be incorporated into a planning scheme.

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