The Katamatite community got together late last month to kick-start a process to brainstorm ideas and develop the future of their town.
While it wasn’t an official planning meeting, it urged community members to start thinking about what they value in Katamatite, how they would like to see the town grow and what they would like to see included in plans.
People also had an opportunity to register their interest in becoming part of the future steering committee, which will help develop the Katamatite Community Plan.
The plan will be a guide for Moira Shire Council to assist in developing the area in line with local expectations and ideas, and comes after a similar pilot program run in Strathmerton last year.
More than 50 people listened to four residents share their views, hopes and ideas for the town’s future on Monday, March 27.
Katamatite Football Club president Tim Bye said he grew up in the town after arriving as a 14-year-old, and still spent about three nights a week there despite moving out of town.
He spoke of a wonderful, community-minded place where people looked out for each other and felt safe.
He said his vision was for continued development and added infrastructure, particularly in the housing sector, to encourage more people to live and build in the area.
‘‘Katamatite is a great place to be, but progress depends on development,’’ he said.
‘‘Without progress, Katamatite will become stagnant.
‘‘I reckon we’re right in the heart of the area, we’re just 30 minutes from Shepp and very close to Cobram and Yarrawonga as well.’’
Katamatite Bazaar’s Maria Marano spoke of her decision to move to the area and her passion for the town.
‘‘When I arrived, someone said to me: ‘I hope you don’t think you’re going to make a living here’, and I cried at the negativity,’’ she said.
Katamatite Cricket Club president Catherine Pool said she hoped to see Katamatite become an inspiration to others and continue to welcome visitors and outsiders.
She said her hope for the future of Katamatite was growth and prosperity.
‘‘I want us to work together to have a shared vision to guide us through any conflict, and I urge people to grab this opportunity with both hands,’’ she said.
Katamatite Primary School leaders Caitlin Verlin and Miranda Eddy shared the hopes, ideas and vision students at their school had brainstormed.
On behalf of their peers, they said Katamatite already had many wonderful things in the community, including the recreation reserve, natural bush surrounds and the many clubs and groups in the area.
‘‘We would like to see more attractions in the area, especially things for young people,’’ they said.
Their suggestions involved a riding/walking track along the creek, development along the creek including a shade-sail and resurfacing the tennis courts.
A steering committee will now be developed from expressions of interest made on the night to help develop ideas and draft a community plan.