West Wimmera towns to be researched by RMIT as part of Regenerated Towns in Regenerate Nature project

West Wimmera chief executive Mark Crouch and councillor Annette Jones. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

West Wimmera chief executive Mark Crouch and councillor Annette Jones. Picture: SAMANTHA CAMARRI

WEST Wimmera Shire Council has signed a research agreement with RMIT School of Architecture and Design.

The agreement is for a research project called Regenerated Towns in Regenerate Nature: Urban Case Studies in the West Wimmera Region. 

The university’s Mauro Baracco will co-ordinate the project and council will pay a $5000 research fee.

The project will investigate urban, landscape and infrastructure conditions of rural towns that are in decline and explore the idea of urban sustainability.

It will also investigate urban regeneration through integration of open and built space.

In a report to council, executive assistant Elizabeth Matuschka said the project would include a public exhibition and talk at Apsley in November.

Proposed events include a function at the Border Inn at Apsley, an art exhibition at Edenhope and a farmers market.

Cr Annette Jones said it was a fantastic initiative.

“Regenerating our towns is something we have been trying to do,” she said. 

“There is opportunity for other community members to be involved with this.”

Cr Bruce Meyer said he was not comfortable with the agreement.

“It says council initiated Dr Baracco coming here and we didn’t – he has been coming here for years,” he said.

 The agreement comes after West Wimmera council announced a new economic development strategy, which it hopes will more than double the shire’s population. 

The draft strategy, Target 10,000, aims to increase the population from 4521 people to 10,000 by 2050.

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