SHIRE of Broome president Graeme Campbell has challenged townspeople to create their own vision for the future or continue to miss out on millions of dollars of government funding being poured into other parts of the north.
Launching the “Broome 2040 project” last week, Mr Campbell said the proposed James Price Point gas hub was just one of myriad issues in a community undergoing transformation into a city with limited resources.
“I believe we are a robust community with a multiplicity of opportunities and a very cross cultural community that deserves probably a little more than what we’re getting,” he said.
“The Pilbara have had their go – and Kununurra has had its go.” Mr Campbell said it was time the Government gave Broome its deserved respect.
“All I see in Pilbara Cities is a catch-up on the past legacies of failures of governments and local governments. This is a different scenario, this is a different town … we live in a different age,” he said.
“It’s time we got the facilities we require and need, but we won’t get them unless we go to them with a plan and a vision.
“I lay the responsibility for this to you to the community – so please be engaged.”
Mr Campbell said while Broome was a “small player” with 15,000 residents, it had been widely acknowledged as a future regional city for the Kimberley.
Shire chief executive Kenn Donohoe said three separate consultancy firms which specialised in engagement, planning and design, and economic rationale had been hired for the project.
Stage one would examine the town’s economic and environmental aspirations, and survey the community on health, education, sporting needs, infrastructure, service delivery, tourism and heritage.
A diverse group of residents could self-nominate as “community champions” to examine issues, develop a vision for 2040 and identify needed projects and infrastructure to achieve goals.
More consultation would then be carried out before a draft vision document was developed and taken to the council for endorsement by March next year.
“You need a primary document that encompasses place, prosperity, people – that’s the key drivers,” Mr Campbell said.
“Without plans, without economic background, without environmental planning, without social planning, you will not get funded for these things.
“The chance to shape the future and what it looks like rests with the people of Broome now … it’s very, very important for the long-term future of this town that everybody has input.”
Councillor Jenny Bloom said the project was a culmination of three years of Shire work and it was up to people to make decisions for future generations.
“It is exciting to think what we will end up with … it will be a real collaboration where the community will have maximum input,” she said.
More information is available from www.broome2040.com.au.