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Growing Thurgoona - Community Conversations

We had a fantastic response from the community on Saturday 15 September with more than 200 people coming along and visiting us at Thurgoona Plaza for the Growing Thurgoona Community Conversations. There were plenty of ideas and lots of information shared by all and a very positive event. Thank you to all who attended and made the effort to participate.

Why did we consult?

The Thurgoona Growth Area encompasses more than 4,500 hectares and accommodates a population of approximately 9,500 people. This population is forecast to grow to 17,500 in 2036 and to 50,000 (including Wirlinga) in the next 50 years.

AlburyCity conducted extensive consultation in 2012 when preparing the Thurgoona Wirlinga Precinct Structure Plan to guide the future growth and development of the area.

This project involved Council staff engaging with our Thurgoona community (including existing and new residents, business owners and visitors) through a shop-front Speak Out session held at Thurgoona Plaza on Saturday 15 September 2018 and an online survey, which was open for a month during September and October. Over 200 interested people attended the Speak Out session.

What did we find out?

A total of 518 survey responses were received. This comprised 362 online surveys and 156 hard-copy surveys from the shop-front session.

A Consultation Summary of the results is available here.

Some of the key findings from the survey responses include:

  • 90% of survey respondents were from Thurgoona. This ratio was the same for both online and shop-front survey;
  • A mix of shorter-term and longer-term Thurgoona residents participated in the survey with approximately 40% being residents of five years or less and 60% being residents of six or more years;
  • The shop-front had a lower proportion of newer residents and higher proportion of longer-term residents;
  • The method of Question 3 differed slightly for online and hard-copy surveys. The online surveys asked for a ‘level of importance’ for all aspects, while the hard-copy surveys asked to ‘tick the 5’ most important aspects. From the online survey, the weighted average of the 362 responses ranked ‘Community safety / feeling safe’ and ‘traffic flow’ highest in the ‘level of importance’ from the various aspects listed. From the hard-copy surveys, ‘traffic flow’ ranked highest followed by ‘protection of wildlife/threatened species’ and ‘natural bushland areas’; and
  • Responses to the open-ended questions varied. However, several key themes were evident. The most liked aspects of living in Thurgoona included ‘Bushland / Creeks / Nature / Wildlife’ (173 responses) and ‘Community feel’ (115 responses). The most common theme for what needs to change or improve was around ‘traffic flow’ (209 responses).

What happens now?

The information obtained from the Growing Thurgoona – Community Conversations project will be used to direct and influence upcoming strategic projects and strategies such as the review of the Thurgoona Wirlinga Precinct Structure Plan and the Integrated Transport Strategy.

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