Buchan Community Plan 2005 to 2010

The community had two meetings in 2005 to discuss the development of a new community plan. Unfortunately, no Community Plan was developed and the focus of the community also disappeared with no agreed “blueprint” for action. 

With the establishment of the Community Building Initiative (CBI) in our region (Beaches to Bush) the community was asked to contribute to a community opportunity workshop in March 2007.  Seven residents attended the workshop, resulting in 18 ideas under 4 main headings, Tourism, Community Development, Historical and Community Sports Facilities.

The CBI project would be unable to address all the ideas during the projects two-year time line, so the participants were asked to prioritise their ideas.  From this experience, key players within our community realised that there was a need to establish a process that would encourage and engage a broader section of community within the district to have input into future directions and to prioritise the areas the community feel are the most important to address.

The community initiated the review and development of its second community plan in 2009 with support from East Gippsland Shire Community Development Coordinator Neil Smith and Tom Mc Shane Community Building Initiative.  Funding assistance for this project came from Macpherson Smith – Community Alliance, East Gippsland Shire and the Community Building Initiative, Beaches to Bush.

The community employed local resident Suzanne Davies, Community Development Consultant via the Buchan Neighbourhood House to review and survey the community for the development of the next community plan.

Initially a community consultation weekend was held on the 12th and 13th September 2009.  A total of 68 people attended the weekend, 12 community members unable to attend provided ideas and thoughts via Email.  Diverse cross sections of the communities within the district attended and were active participants over the weekend.

The weekend included launching the project, timelines, operations, and procedures, welcome by the Mayor of East Gippsland, successes of the previous 5-year community plan, exploring the ideas of a community hub, sport and recreational opportunities and open forum discussions.

The abridged version of the draft document was distributed to the community as a priority area survey, listing 44 ideas that had been identified to date.

The community voted on 10 areas of interest to help identify the priority areas, working together in collaboration with Local Government and other agencies, numbering 1 to 10 in the voting column within the document (where 1 was the most important.

A second community forum was held on May 23rd 2010 to identify gaps within the consultation draft document, discussion on the priority areas from returned surveys and to clarify the 2nd stage of the planning project.

The identified gaps included: –

  • Buchan Cemetery – works
  • Rodeo Ground – works and upgrade of buildings
  • Buchan Golf club – new shed and toilet facility
  • Buchan Kindergarten – updating information and networking
  • Sealed edges and road widened from Murrindal to Red Knob
  • Importance of night time meetings for Business community.

The Community Consultation was completed and a final report (which was to be a draft plan) was delivered in July 2010.

Actions identified (in priority)  from the community survey.

  1. Recreational facilities upgrade and to improve building for the designated community safer place in times of fire emergency.
  2. Communication improvements for TV, radio, mobile phone coverage and Internet.
  3. Buchan Bush Nursing Association – Building – explore options.
  4. Buchan and Gelantipy Bush Nursing Association – extension of services.
  5. Sealing of the Barry Way.
  6. Investigate options for Community building at W Tree.
  7. Support for childcare in Buchan.
  8. Wild dog and foxes program support.
  9. Investigate town power alternatives, also at 9 is to build BBQ facilities.
  10. Future business opportunities for township.
  11. Farmers Market.
  12. Landcare support.
  13. Community Garden and Stephanie Alexander program at the primary school.
  14. Weed eradication programs.
  15. Investigate how to develop independent living arrangements.
  16. Construction of viewing platform on old Buchan Road.
  17. Tree planting programs implemented within township and district.
  18. Investigate land rezoning in township and farming land.
  19. Investigate need and viability of sewerage plant for township.
  20. Signed walking tracks developed linking township, also within the district.
  21. Buchan Resource Centre to open 5 days per week and increase staff levels. also at 21 is to look at diversity on farms education programs.
  22. Assistance for the Butter Factory to be completed for community usage.
  23. Assistance for the enhancement of the Avenue of Honour
  24. Tip Shop at the Buchan Tip.
  25. To develop the Nissan Hut into a usable community shed.
  26. Cross country bike trail linking Buchan and Nowa Nowa.
  27. Buchan Hall upgrade – designated safer place in times of flood, incorporated within the feasibility study of the Recreational Pavilion upgrade.
  28. School holiday programs.
  29. Attract new business enterprises to the district.
  30. Building of the 2nd foot bridge, linking the bluff area to the Caves Reserve.
  31. Buchan Gallery assistance.
  32. Music and dance opportunities and also at 32 is explore local abattoir idea.
  33. Improve town signage.
  34. Heritage overlay for Main Street of Buchan.
  35. Establish a youth group.
  36. Rock Wallaby interpretation area and also at 36 is the motorbike track.
  37. Arts coordinator.
  38. Tourism shelter relocated back to Red Knob.
  39. Community Websites.
  40. Arts trail development.

2nd stage of planning project

The East Gippsland Shire announced their new approach to community planning.  Our Place, Our Plan, Our Future: Working more closely with community members and groups to identify the priority issues and opportunities that will enable communities to achieve a more liveable, sustainable and productive future.

“Our Place, Our Plan, Our Future will bring residents and ratepayers, businesses, local organisations, local government and other agencies together to decide how to achieve the communities‟ vision.” EGSC.

More information about OurPlace, OurPlan, OurFuture can be found at www.egipps.vic.gov.au

Louise Avery – East Gippsland Shire Council – Community Planning Coordinator spoke on the identified priority areas and concerns developed by the community and how these areas fit within the EGSC planning document.  Future community planning was to be looked at in terms of short, medium and long term ideas that have been identified, linking the information to develop future community forums.  She spoke on the importance of establishing the local partnership group, gathering interested community members to support a local facilitator, local government and community within the 2nd stage of this project.

A local facilitator, employed by the East Gippsland Shire, worked closely with the local partnership group and community on priority areas identified, organising forums and identifying potential partnerships with organisations, local, state and federal government and the private sector.

The process to present the new Plan to the community was completed using Community Forums with the first East Gippsland Shire Community Forum being held on Wednesday 16th March 2011.  “Our Livelihood”.

The second forum was held on Wednesday 30th March 2011. “Our People”

The third Forum was held on Wednesday 13th April 2011 with Michael McAllum for Global Foresight Network to stretch our thinking and explore ways of designing better futures through scenario planning workshops.

The community planner from East Gippsland Shire Council was working closely with the community of Buchan to bring together and compile all the information required to present a final plan.

The Second Buchan and District Community Plan 2011 to 2016 became a condensed document to make it easy to read and a quick reference to what we would like to see for the future.

The plan was then developed into 4 pillars, aligning the Buchan and District Community Plan to the EGSC Community Planning documents.

Numerous projects (a wish list) with details on our identified areas of need, our action plan, who will be involved and what benefit this will be to the community would support the condensed community planning document.   These became the following:

1.Livability          Cohesive Communities: Active, Healthy, Safe: Diverse and Connected

2.Sustainability Community Living: Natural Environment: Built Environment

3.Productivity     Economic Environment: Development

4.Governance    Financial Security: Strong leadership and advocacy: Open and Accountable

Another Attachment featured “Our Profile”

Statistical information was compiled from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2006 census.


The development of the Buchan and District Community Plan for 2011 to 2016

First Community Phone book was printed in 2008

Community Meeting held 23rd March 2007 to discuss possible BMX track for Buchan. Possible sites were discussed. Action from the meeting was to contact and investigate some of the possible sites, contact relevant shire staff for further information. Glen Rawson from Rawson Cycles was invited to a Buchan Community meeting in June to assist with the project. (ongoing see 2011 to 2016 Community Plan)

Buchan Gallery 2005 to 2012

The Buchan Gallery closed its doors on 31st March 2012 after 8 years since the idea of a community gallery emerged and seven years of operating as a Gallery.   Buchan Gallery Inc. was developed through the “Women Who Mean Business Project” in 2004 and was opened on Saturday 29th October 2005 by Joan Kirner (former Premier of Victoria). The gallery was also supported through volunteer grants, Sponsorship from WWOOF and numerous sausage sizzles held in the Bairnsdale Mall.  In 2008, East Gippsland Shire through its Community Planning Program, supported by Neil Smith was given $500 to revise the Business Plan to reassess the future of the gallery, as we were already aware that without changes to the support from volunteers, increased exposure or other avenues of income that the gallery may not possibly be sustainable into the future. In 2009, Buchan Gallery amalgamated with Buchan Arts Council.  This amalgamation was a natural progression, as many of the same community members we on the same Committees of Management for both groups.  Amalgamation also meant only having to pay one set of incorporation fees and one insurance policy. 

To further encourage visitors to the town the Buchan Gallery developed the Buchan Self-Guided Walking Tour.  This tour was launched by Brian Blakeman on Sunday 15th March 2008.  Darren Chester from the East Gippsland Tourism Association was a surprise visit on the day. 

2008 Launch of the Buchan Self Guided Walking Tour at the Buchan Gallery.

BLtoR Darren Chester, Brian Blakeman, Judy Gray. FLtoR Evelyn Schmidt, Rhonda Coates, Leona Lavell

The Buchan Bulletin is reinstated by Rhonda Coates in July 2007. (The first Buchan Bulletin was started in March 1981 by Leona and Jesse Coates. It ran for over 10 years before going into recess.)

2007 Fires

Please provide feedback regarding the 2005 to 2010 Buchan Community Planning information in the comments.


  1. Looking for Rhonda Coates School teacher
    Nice to catch up would like her to be in contact with me haven’t seen her for 35 years

    Commonfriend John Merlo

    Virginia Clark

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