Community Panels involve local residents in decision making and community building

As part of our community planning process, Council has established seven Community Panels in rural communities within the Local Government Area.

The Community Panel is the key group for Council to consult with when we are seeking to undertake engagement in those communities about Council decisions or future plans.

Each Community Panel is in the midst of implementing a Community Plan, developed by local residents, which includes projects and events to improve community life.

Check out the Community Panel Map to see what Community Panel governs your area. Anyone can join a Community Panel and volunteer their time. You might like to help with projects and events, become a member of the panel, or just be a helping hand when working bees or activities are taking place. The level of engagement is entirely up to you.

For information on some of our Panel's achievements in 2016, check out the Community Panel Achievement Showcase – a document that summarizes presentations from our recent Showcase event in November 2016.

For more information or to get involved in your local Community Panel, phone our Partnering and Community Engagement Team on 1300 87 83 87 or email Below is further infomation about each panel.




You can read the North Central Community Plan highlighting community projects identified as a priority by the Community Panel in partnership with Council.



The South East Community Panel hit the ground running last year and they were the first of the established panels to hold an event.

The group seized on the idea of Asset Based Community Development and partnering with community volunteers, Council and local facilities and services to hold a dinner and movie night at the Wyrallah Community Hall in October 2015.

The panel applied for one of Council’s Annual Community Grants with the Wyrallah Community Hall Committee auspicing the grant application. They utilised their Facebook group to advertise the event, set up an online ticket booth to sell tickets and engaged the business community to provide the catering. The nigh included community networking, delicious food and a screening of the move Paper Planes, a family-friendly Australian film.

The event was a sellout.

Five new volunteers for community projects came forward on the night and identified projects in the Community Plan that were of interest to them.

People of all ages attended and $289 was raised to springboard the next event – a Curry Night.

The Annual Community Grant funding was also used to purchase a new sign for Wyrallah Community Hall which was supplied by a local business and both the Tregeagle and Dungarubba Halls are now looking to get similar signs to improve the community awareness of events and activities held at each hall.

The South East Community Panel meet regularly and are currently working on improving communication throughout the community to increase awareness and connection. A possible newsletter, public Facebook page and a website are in the works.

For more information read the South East Community Plan.



The North East Community Panel are currently working on the replacement of a playground unit and addition of exercise equipment at Balzer Park and the beautification of Tamarind Park as a tourist stop.

This panel has also applied to the NSW Government for a Community Builders Partnership Grant, with the Dunoon District Sport and Recreation Club as an auspice, to fund the exercise equipment component.

This panel has consulted with their community and worked with a local sports physiologist and the Sport and Recreation Officer at Council. A Balzer Park Concept Plan has now been developed by a-Space.

Whian Whian Hall Committee has also received a Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal Grant to build a pizza oven at the hall. They engaged a builder and the community contributed a majority of labour towards it. The pizza oven is now complete and delicious pizzas are being enjoyed!

For more information read the North East Community Plan.



You can read the East Community Plan highlighting community projects identified as a priority by the Community Panel in partnership with Council.



The South Community Panel has established a community newsletter to let people know what is happening in their community.

During consultation, the South community identified one of their goals was to create stronger connections within the community by developing communication channels.

The first edition of the Southern Halls & Community News was published in July 2016. The newsletter contains information about what’s happening in the area and events being held at local rural halls. The Community Panel has also established a number of Facebook pages to promote their halls and are investigating creating a webpage.


You can read the West Community Plan highlighting community projects identified as a priority by the Community Panel in partnership with Council.


We are currently working with this community to create their Community Plan.


How we got started: background information

In 2012 we undertook an 18-month community consultation process to inform the development of our community strategic plan called Imagine Lismore. It was the longest and most extensive process of community engagement in Council’s history.

The community developed a set of visions and two of the visions were:

1.    To be an inclusive and aware community.
2.    To have community participation in decision making.

In response, Council developed the Community Engagement and Partnership Program. This program is aimed at strengthening our rural communities, with Council working with community members to develop a Community Plan for each area to implement projects and activities.

We divided the Local Government Area (LGA) into seven geographical localities and began the community engagement process.

The projects detailed within Community Plans for these localities are to be implemented by the community in partnership with Council, community groups, business and other agencies.

The program is based on the principles of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), which utilises the existing skills and resources of local residents as the foundation for building strong, resilient, sustainable communities. For more info on ABCD, watch the Jim Diers YouTube video.

How the plans were developed

We invited community members, business owners, organisations, existing local community groups and committees from each locality to come to two planning days at local community halls.

We used the community’s thoughts, ideas and aspirations to create the Community Plans, and we checked back with the community be finalising these.

How the plans are being implemented

The Community Panels in each of the seven localities prioritise and implement actions in the Community Plan. They will work together to create partnerships that encourage and inspire community leadership, volunteering and engagement. This will strengthen community ownership of local facilities and other community resources. The panel is the key group for Council to work with in these communities.

Can I get involved?

Anyone can be involved. The Community Panels are always looking for willing helpers and participants. Everyone has something to offer.

You may wish to join a Community Panel or you may just want to come along and volunteer your time for projects or events that interest you.

For more information or to get involved in your local Community Panel, phone our Partnering and Community Engagement Team on 1300 87 83 87 or email