12 March 2024

Wagga City Council wants you to help plan the future of our CBD

| Chris Roe
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man standing next to city council sign

WWCC director of regional activation John Sidgwick wants to know about your vision for the CBD. Photo: Chris Roe.

Wagga City Council has been doing a lot of public consultation over the past few months and is now turning its attention to the CBD.

Director of regional activation John Sidgwick explained that the council was drafting a new CBD masterplan to guide land use and development in the city centre.

“It’s really aiming to create a vision for what our city could look like in the future,” he said.

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“We’ve just commenced a consultation process on the fourth of March that will run until the 26th of April and we’re going out to ask the community their views about the CBD.

“What they like, what they don’t like, what their aspirations are for the future of the city.”

The area in question extends the full length of Baylis Street through to the far end of Fitzmaurice Street and takes in some of the surrounding residential streets and recreational areas that connect to the CBD, including Wollundry Lagoon and the Riverside precinct.

graphic of a city centre plan

The new masterplan will cover a broad section of the city centre. Image: WWCC.

While Mr Sidgwick said that while Wagga Council wouldn’t be looking to influence the feedback, the long-term goal was to create a vibrant, people-focused central business district.

“We’ve got to look at movement connectivity, we need to look at urban design, we need to think about potential land uses, including residential options,” he said.

“We need to think about how people move around the city in terms of cars and pedestrians. We need to think about how people use our open spaces and how they move between those open spaces.

“So there’s quite a broad remit. But again, I want to emphasise it’s about what the community see as their future and how we can work with them to deliver that.”

Looking ahead to population growth and a potential 100,000 residents will also be an important factor as well as catering to more than 1 million visitors annually.

“Wagga has its own unique brand, its own vibe and feel, and it’s really important that we play to those strengths rather than necessarily look to another regional location and say, they’re doing well, let’s copy their ideas,” Mr Sidgwick said.

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The council will reach out to the community, landholders and business groups in the coming weeks and Mayor Dallas Tout said it was critical to generate as much input as possible.

“This is a pivotal moment for Wagga Wagga’s future, and we need your input to guide the development of our CBD,” Cr Tout said.

“Your ideas will help us craft a CBD that reflects the growth and future of our city.

“I deeply encourage residents to participate in the process. We aim to capture and understand our community’s aspirations and use this knowledge to position Wagga Wagga as a vibrant regional hub for generations to come.”

The feedback will inform a draft CBD master plan that will be publicly exhibited later in 2024.

Pop-up information stalls will appear at various locations in the LGA over the next month and community members can also engage online, by phone or in person.

You can find out more on WWCC’s website.

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