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Neighbourhood Renewal in Gippsland

Community spirit is realised in the Glendonald project

By Vanessa Burrow - 23rd September 2002 - Back to News

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The Neighbourhood Renewal Project in the Latrobe Valley continues to generate progress with a Barbecue shelter currently being erected in Glendonald Park, Churchill.

The Barbecue is just one of the improvements decided upon by the residents of Glendonald in regular community forums.

Glendonald is one of four areas in the Latrobe Valley involved in a resident consultant process facilitated by project officers from Quantum Support Services.

Funded by the Victorian State Government through the Department of Human Services, the initiative meshes together efforts from Latrobe City Council, Youth Services and the Office of Housing.

Glendonald Project Officer, Mr. Ken Hull said the initiative is looked upon as a pilot program throughout Australia for building social cohesion. Only one other scheme of its type is also in progress in Ballarat.

The programs emphasise and rely on community involvement. "A lot of it is not based on dollars, it’s about bringing people together to communicate", Mr Hull said.

This improved communication means that residents have a say in decisions made by service providers such as local government, enabling them to provide "whatever the community thinks is appropriate", Latrobe City Council representative, Mr David Martyn said.

From feedback he has received, Mr Martyn believes that residents feel the project is a "real bonus" because they "get the impression they’re being listened to" and have easy access to council and other services.

Since the initial resident consultations, improvements made have included new fencing and sheds for public housing, new playground equipment and improved street lighting.

After the completion of the Barbecue in a few weeks, next on the agenda for Glendonald Park is an amenities block, shading and weather shed for the BMX track.

The work will not halt then however. The next resident group meeting for Glendonald will be held September 24th where more development proposals will be placed before residents.

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