A major purpose of AIDA is raising community awareness of, and canvassing the community’s views on, issues of significance in the district. In addition AIDA supports environmental, sociological and other studies and surveys performed by the Surf Coast Shire or other bodies such as the Great Ocean Road Coast Committee (GORCC).
Over the nearly fifty years of AIDA’s existence, the community has displayed remarkable constancy of opinion on the importance of preservation of our natural environment and the desirability of retaining and conserving the special rural-coastal character of our settlements and their environs.
In response to this robust and consistent community feedback the Surf Coast Shire has developed planning tools such as local provisions and neighbourhood character overlays, which in conjunction with current zoning regulations has largely protected the existing low key character of our residential communities and two small commercial zones, and preserved views of the pristine environment, which is of great tourism and heritage value.
The 2015 questionnaire is the latest in a series of surveys undertaken by AIDA since 1983, far-sightedly planned to include many of the same questions, so that a perspective on individual opinions over time might be obtained, and it has provided invaluable information on the values and views of our members and also the broader community. This 30 year history has permitted the development of a longitudinal analysis of local opinions, part of which is illustrated below. For this year’s results click AIDA 2015 Questionnaire Full Results 20-2-2015 and for the history of local opinions click AIDA Questionnaires – Current Views & Longitudinal Attitudes“.
Important examples of earlier surveys and study reports relating to our area include:
1983 – present AIDA surveys of residents and ratepayers
Surveys taken at approximately 10-year intervals (in 1983, 1990 and 1999) and then most recently in 2015 (see links above) have demonstrated a consistent and almost unanimous desire to retain and conserve the special rural-coastal character of our settlements and their environs.
For detailed information about the earlier surveys and the results click here.
1993 Aireys Inlet to Eastern View Structure Plan
This Structure Plan, which was prepared by the Geelong Regional Commission (GRC, a forerunner of GORCC) is not strictly a survey of community opinion, but does reflect the concerns of the local residents and ratepayers at the time since a draft was made available to the general public for comment and discussion for three months in 1991 before preparation of a final plan for adoption by both the GRC and the Shire of Barrabool (a forerunner of the Surf Coast Shire). The GRC defined the purpose of the plan as follows:
“A structure plan enables communities to develop in an orderly, predetermined manner rather than as a result of ad hoc decisions made without reference to the needs of the whole community.’
In brief, the structure plan laid down guidelines for future development, including land use, residential zoning, facilities and amenities, and so on.
STOP PRESS: In late 2014 AIDA was advised that the Surf Coast Shire is preparing a new Structure Plan for Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven, Moggs Creek and Eastern View and that this will replace the existing plan developed in 1993.
AIDA is working cooperatively with the shire to help develop the plan and to make sure it accurately reflects our values, aims and objectives. The AIDA committee met with the shire and its consultants in January 2015 and will continue to liase closely with them as the new plan is developed.
In the meantime the shire and the consultants have been supplied with the results of AIDA’s most recent (2015) community survey questionnaire (again see the links above).
2004 – Aireys Inlet to Eastern View Neighbourhood Character Survey
Neighbourhood character is described in the Victorian Planning Provisions (VPP) Practice Note as being:
“..Essentially the combination of the public and private realms. Every property, public place or piece of infrastructure makes a contribution. It is the cumulative impact of all these contributions that establishes neighbourhood character. The key to understanding character is being able to describe how the features of an area come together to give that area its own particular character.”
The objectives of this study, which was carried out by Dr. Ray Green, Head of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, under the auspices of the Surf Coast Shire, were to:
– Maintain and enhance the distinctive coastal character and features of the Aireys Inlet, Fairhaven, Moggs Creek and Eastern View townships. This involved consideration of homogenous characteristics and areas of diversity across the townships.
– Provide greater certainty for the community and the development industry in terms of what development, and development attributes, would be compatible with the character of different areas and neighbourhoods within the towns.
– Establish a systematic methodology for the ongoing monitoring of planning decisions and review of planning controls to achieve the above objectives.
The findings are most easily accessed by reading the Executive Summary (click here).
The full report is available at Aireys Inlet to Eastern View Neighbourhood Character Study 2004.
2012 – Findings of community consultations and surveys performed by GORCC during development of a new Coastal Management Plan
A complete description of the consultations and surveys and their findings can be found in GORCC’s Draft GORCC Coastal Management Plan May 2012. A summary of the finding is as follows: When asked what they value about the coast, a majority of respondents (which included residents, holiday home owners and visitors to the area) nominated various aspects of the natural environment, including its visual beauty, native wildlife and the seclusion and escape it offers. The lack of or limited amount of development along the coastline was another significant response. When queried on their vision for the coast, most respondents described their perfect coast as not significantly different from today – clean, accessible, undeveloped with natural values protected and advanced. Another lesser, but still popular, theme that emerged was that necessary infrastructure should be sensitively built, of high quality and low impact to the environment. The final version of the Coastal Management Plan was released in 2013.