THE ROAD to 100,000 stretches ahead as council launches the draft of Tamworth Regional Blueprint 100.
Tamworth Regional Council General Manager Paul Bennett said Blueprint is the foundation for the development of its growth management strategy.
Council started talking about Blueprint with the business community and those working within growth sectors such as health and transport in the middle of last year.
It was explained Blueprint would provide the overarching direction for all current and future planning processes, significant projects and precinct development. Still, some of the community was surprised by its ambitious population growth target.
Mr Bennett admitted council started the conversation “boldly”.
“Proposing that we work towards a population of 100,000 by 2041 was provocative, and it has succeeded in getting our community talking about the region’s future growth,” he said.
“Planning now means that we are ready for the future regardless of the timeframe, and we can implement strategies that smooth the impact of population growth for everyone – both current and future residents.
“By starting now, we can plan for our future to ensure that Tamworth is a smart, sustainable regional leader.”
Mr Bennett said the draft shows people where the growth will occur including transport networks, housing and industrial area.
He added it includes significant projects such as the new Dungowan Dam and upgraded pipeline, the airport precinct, the aquatic centre and the performing arts centre.
Mr Bennett said that water security was a crucial focus of Blueprint 100, and while the new dam is one plan to address the issues, it was not the only one.
“The water security issues will be addressed through a whole range of measures,” he said.
“One issue is storage, one is the way we do reuse, and one is the way we use raw water instead of treated water for some of our industries.”
Mr Bennett said a raft of solutions would be targeting these problems.
Tamworth Regional Mayor Col Murray said Tamworth Regional Blueprint 100 is a “road map” towards the future as a region of opportunity and prosperity.
“Blueprint is a comprehensive plan to manage our region’s population growth in a well-planned and sustainable way,” he said.
“It is not only about new residents but for all of us who live here now – and our children and their children.
“A growing population brings with it the need for new infrastructure and associated investment, creating demand for employment and additional services which, in turn, produces a more buoyant economy.”
The detailed document - including the region’s Local Strategic Planning Statement – is now on public exhibition and community members are being encouraged to tell council whether it meets their expectations.
Cr Murray has encouraged all community members to take a look at the Tamworth Regional Blueprint 100 portal page.
“It’s where you can find out more about the plan and take the opportunity to give Council feedback,” he said.
“We want widespread input to ensure the Blueprint truly reflects the future our community wants for our region.”
Printed copies of Tamworth Regional Blueprint 100 are available at Council offices and libraries.
It can also be downloaded through council’s online community portal at yourvoice.tamworth.nsw.gov.au/blueprint-100.
Over the coming weeks, Councillors and staff will also be hosting community information stands around the region. They will be at:
Tamworth - Fitzroy Plaza: March 12 , 10.30am - 12.30pm
Manilla Street, Manilla near Carlo’s IGA: March 13, 2.30pm - 5.30pm
Queen Street, Barraba near IGA: March14 , 9am - 12pm
Kootingal Library, Denman Ave, Kootingal: March 20, 3pm - 5pm
Captain Cook Park, Jenkins Street, Nundle near the playground: March 21, 9am-noon