The citizens jury plus council staff who took part in setting priorities as part of the Imagine Lismore project.
The citizens jury plus council staff who took part in setting priorities as part of the Imagine Lismore project.

Citizen's jury picks top priorities

A CITIZEN'S jury has identified the CBD; aged care; environment issues; and Indigenous services as Lismore's top priorities.

The priorities were set during a 2 1/2 day discussion by the 21-member citizens' jury as part of the council's Imagine Lismore project.

The jury was a cross-section of the community, taking in people across age groups, locations and backgrounds.

Jury member Nora Vidler-Blanksby of Tregeagle said the discussion within the jury was productive and members shared a forward-thinking vision.

"The experience added to the enthusiasm that I already have for living in the Northern Rivers," Ms Vidler-Blanksby said.

The jury members considered the challenges and opportunities facing the Lismore area across four pillars: economy, environment, community and leadership.

The discussions were based on expert presentations by people within each topic area as well as on feedback from surveys and general demographic information.

"We did not ask the jury for solutions but for their help in coming up with an over-riding view of what Lismore cherishes," Imagine Lismore project manager Simon Adcock said.

"The jury highlighted the inclusiveness of our community as important, and also the value we place on our achievements in the arts and learning, our natural environment and access to services."

Ms Vidler-Blanksby said the jury focused on Lismore's CBD and ways to renovate and rejuvenate the heart of town.

"We talked about ways to unify the CBD in terms of its architecture, how to make the CBD user-friendly and ways that it can be used as a space that brings people together," she said.

Ms Vidler-Blanksby said support for and care for the aged plus services for the region's Aboriginal population were also top items on the agenda.

"Usually we hear from only 5% of our population and often they have very strong views," Mr Adcock said.

"It's been good to hear what the ordinary person is thinking and this is the first time we've had the chance."

Mr Adcock said there would be further discussions with service providers and the community over coming months, followed by the release of a draft plan for public comment before next June.



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