Imagine Lismore Projects are coming to fruition through our Partnering Strategy

Community partnerships in action

Lismore City Council conducted a comprehensive Imagine Lismore community consultation process between 2011 and 2013 in order to find out what kind of future people want for the place they live, work and socialise in. This process resulted in the development of a series of Imagine Lismore strategic plans which distilled the Lismore community’s vision for our future and are guiding Council’s direction over the next decade.

These plans led to a subsequent Partnering Strategy, the generator of a number of Imagine Lismore Projects. Below is an overview of the projects we’ve undertaken, with our partners listed.

Projects completed or currently underway

Lismore Health Precinct Partnership
This strategic alliance has been able to connect businesses with the Buy Local Project Northern Rivers portal, effect changes to the $180 million staged Lismore Base Hospital upgrade design, help secure funding for a 520-vehicle multilevel carpark, introduce medium-density rezoning to enable greater housing choice in the precinct and produce a Health Workforce Plan to address the medical skills shortage at both Lismore Base and St Vincents Private hospitals.

Our partners include the Northern NSW Local Health District, Lismore Base Hospital, the University Centre for Rural Health, and St Vincents Private Hospital. In mid-2015, the Lismore Health Precinct Partnership won a NSW Local Government Excellence Award in the ‘Partnerships for Growth’ category.

CBD-Riverbank Masterplan
In partnership with the Lismore business community, Council will manage a staged CBD revitalisation scheme to transform the city centre. We will spend $3.4 million over the next four years on the CBD and Wilsons River, incorporating major improvements to infrastructure and amenities which contribute to the attractiveness of the city centre and neighbouring riverside precinct.

Fit 4 Schools – Healthy Lifestyles
In partnership with Southern Cross University, we have helped the Northern NSW Local Health District Health Promotion Team map the health, social and education services available for families with young children to ensure that they are ready to embark on the significant journey from home to school. The Health Promotion Team has put together a checklist and website packed with information to help parents ensure their children are in good health and ready for primary school.

Rural Landholder Initiative
In stage one of the Rural Landholder Initiative, 10 local landholders from five rural sectors (beef and dairy farming, sugar cane, macadamia and other orchard crops, plus ‘lifestyle’ or non-commercial holdings) have been selected as demonstration projects to show the value of improved land management practices. Stage two includes providing rural landholders with incentives to manage biodiversity on their land, as it is recognised that revegetating private land is key to creating green corridors and healthy biodiversity across the region.

A $100,000 grant from the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust to fund education components of the initiative will be enhanced by Council staff helping with property planning workshops, field days at demonstration sites, and distribution of resource kits providing land management techniques for specific industry and landholder groups. Our project partner is Southern Cross University.

Lismore Health Sector Travel Plan
This plan aims to make it easier for patients, staff and visitors to travel to the Lismore Base Hospital Precinct, to reduce parking issues and to promote active transport (including walking, cycling, carpooling and use of public transport). The plan arose from a partnership comprising Council, the Northern NSW Local Health District, local residents and other key stakeholders.

Creative Lismore
Our city is home to a peak arts body called Creative Lismore: an alliance of 18 arts, cultural, entertainment, business, tourism and education partners that are developing projects and strategies for promoting and celebrating this area as a vibrant and culturally significant centre of creativity. Creative Lismore is officially partnered with Council and one of its principal objectives is to support the relocation and expansion of the Lismore Regional Gallery.

Health Sector Workforce Development Plan
This project is aimed at improving industry access to skilled labour and providing employment opportunities for Lismore’s health sector workforce. Based on the challenges of securing skilled labour locally and a declining regional workforce, the initial focus of the project will be a health and allied services sector research and mapping exercise. We need to find solutions for the projected mass exodus of retiring workers and the demands on the health sector due to an ageing population. Our partners are the North Coast Primary Health Network and St Vincents Private Hospital.

Buy Local Project Northern Rivers
This procurement scheme grows regional prosperity by connecting our local government agencies with local businesses that offer the services and products we need. It features a free and easily-accessed ‘portal’ that enables businesses to tender for contracts with major organisations such as the health sector. Our partners are the Industry Capability Network, the Northern NSW Local Health District and the University Centre for Rural Health.

The Buy Local Project Northern Rivers was presented with an ‘Excellence in Innovation’ award by the NSW Business Council in 2014.

Wilsons River Regeneration and River Walk
This regeneration project includes the development of a landscape and works plan for approximately 2km of riverbank, from Fawcett’s Bridge to Ballina Bridge. The work involved requires significant revegetation and restoration. The River Walk aspect of the project includes approximately 80 metres of footpath construction to provide a continuous walking link along the Wilsons riverbank.

Our partners are the Wilsons River Landcare Group, Richmond River County Council, Rous Water, EnviTE and Hurfords.

Business-friendly Council
Council offers clear and consistent policies and development frameworks that provide certainty for private sector developers, investors and business entrepreneurs, and which stimulate growth in new and existing businesses. We place great emphasis on creating and nurturing strong partnerships to improve planning and encourage sensible development in the city.

In 2015, Council won a NSW Local Government Excellence Award for our Lismore Sustainable Economic Advantage 2020 strategy. At a local level we’ve forged productive partnerships with the Lismore Business Panel and Lismore Chamber of Commerce. Externally, we have positive working relationships with a wide range of regional, state and federal agencies focused on assisting business.

For this project we partnered with the NSW Commissioner’s Office of Small Business and the NSW Business Chamber.

Lismore Community Solar
This initiative will establish a council-community solar farm in Lismore. Two 99kW solar PV systems will be constructed separately at the Goonellabah Sports and Aquatic Centre and the East Lismore Sewage Treatment Plant. The Lismore Community Solar project is a potential ‘first’ in Australia in terms of the council-community model being used. Community members invest in the project to raise the funds. Lismore Community Solar will create significant opportunities to influence others to explore the innovative use of renewable energy. 

This is an exciting community energy project in collaboration with Farming the Sun.

Living in Lismore Housing Strategy
Council has taken a proactive approach to supporting and encouraging further land release and housing development in Lismore, which is exemplified in the ‘Living in Lismore Housing Strategy’. The strategy aims to ensure an increase in dwelling and land supply, improve housing choices and diversity, and assist in providing socially responsive housing in Lismore.

Our partners include the Northern NSW Branch of the Planning Institute of Australia, the local office of the Real Estate Institute, Northern Rivers Social Development Council, Australian Valuers Institute, NSW Department of Housing, North Coast Community Housing, Urban Development Institute of NSW and the NSW Master Builders Association.

Community Panels and Community Plans
In 2015 and early 2016 we’re partnering with seven rural areas in the Lismore Local Government Area to establish Community Panels that will create action-based Community Plans for their respective local communities. The plans should be complete by June 2016. Each community will then have a clear direction about how to make community improvements and connect through events, projects and participation.

Other projects coming up

Lismore CBD office building
Council has approved moving its administrative headquarters in Goonellabah back down to the CBD, subject to the effective financing of such a move. The proposed relocation would see over 200 staff members operating out of a new corporate centre in a civic precinct containing the Lismore Library, Northern Rivers Conservatorium and the potentially relocated Lismore Regional Gallery. The corporate centre would be constructed on Council-owned land in the city’s largest carpark, with attendant benefits for the CBD and wider community.

This is a future joint venture project which will involve Council partnering with a private developer.

Lismore’s role as a Sports Hub
We aim to ensure that Lismore consolidates its role as the sports hub of the region through a series of major investments in sporting facilities. These include a $1.7 million redevelopment of Clifford Park, construction of a 6.5km mountain bike track in Albert Park, and creation of an all-weather surface at Crozier Field suitable for attracting regional and national sports events. Other major projects include a BMX track at Nesbitt Park, a second artificial hockey surface at Hepburn Park, and further improvements to Kadina Park.

Our partners are the NSW Government and local sports clubs and community organisations.

Future Leaders
This project enables young professionals to be mentored by local business people, learn about the social and cultural fabric of our community and build their capacity as future leaders. It is designed to help the city retain rather than lose these professionals with identified leadership potential so that they will continue to live, work and contribute to life here in Lismore.

Our partner is NORTEC.

Goonellabah Community Hub
This project will see the construction of a community building on the corner of Rous Road and Pleasant Street in Goonellabah by The Church of Christ, in partnership with Meridian Health. Once built, office and programming space will be available to the community services sector and community members.

Sharing our Reconciliation Action Plan with the Region
Council developed its own Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) 18 months ago in collaboration with the national body Reconciliation Australia. The RAP aims to increase employment, business and social opportunities for Aboriginal people in our area. We will now conduct workshops for other Northern Rivers councils plus government and non-government services to share our insights and experiences. We hope to inspire and guide others in the region to develop their own RAPs.

To find out more or become involved

If you would like specific information on any aspect of our Imagine Lismore Projects or you want to join a rural Community Panel in your area, please contact our Community Services Coordinator on 1300 87 83 87.