Letter | Plan for Oberon’s future is light on pages and inspiration

IS this the best we can do? Council’s best offer?

Oberon Council engaged a consultant to prepare a “Community Strategic Plan 2019-2040” and by councillors’ own impressions, the draft is underwhelming. Comparing several other councils in NSW shows Oberon’s CSP, on public display until February 15, is not only underwhelming, it misses the mark. This is certainly not a complete strategy.

Google “Bathurst CSP” – it shows what a strategic plan should look like. Five key components make a strategic plan:

  • Mission and vision.
  • Core values.
  • SWOT.
  • Objectives and strategies.
  • Measurements and KPIs.

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We need to know where we are today, where we want to be in 20 years, how we get there, how we measure our progress along the way and when we arrive at the destination. Oberon’s draft CSP contains a vision with several options, some background, but vital substance is missing. Who will decide on the vision options – council dictating what they want to see? Engagement by stealth - we’ll tell you what you need to know?

The CSP for Orange does a good job on 48 pages; Bathurst presents more details on 87 pages. Oberon ‘boasts’ 19 pages with lots of generic information copied and pasted. Nothing is stated about where we are, where we want to go, how we will know when we get there or how we measure progress.

If several councillors believed this CSP to be underwhelming in December, why did council put the CSP out for public comment, hoping ratepayers would see it any different? Why did council not stop this charade earning transparency credits instead of creating even more disharmony? Listening to a minority actually shows strength instead of boasting that the majority wins. Oberon Council is railroading another issue, accepting mediocrity and thus failing this community.

Council has created disharmony, distrust and disbelief and the sentiments around town in support of a residents and ratepayers’ association are getting stronger.

It would be in residents’ best interest to read the draft CSP on council’s website. This document demonstrates the lack of planning evident in a number of areas; an open letter to council can be found here: https://ln.sync.com/.../vma7sx9i-vrsyctyc-z2sbn8e2-mmgai5uz

Hardy Draheim

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