In 2021 the Shire empowered the community to help shape our future and develop a new Community Vision for the Peninsula to 2040.

We set up our very first Citizens’ Panel to develop this Community Vision, using the extensive feedback and ideas we got from the community.

Council committed to use the Vision to guide the development of the Council Plan and other key initiatives.

The Citizens’ Panel was such a great success that Council resolved to recruit a new panel each year to help them make better and more informed decisions.


Throughout 2022, the panel will meet regularly to discuss and influence a range of important issues.

Schedule of 2022 meetings:

Wednesday 30 March. 5 – 6.30pm. Meet and greet – MPRG

This session was held in-person at the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery and gave all panel members an opportunity to meet each other and to hear about the year ahead. The Mayor Anthony Marsh and CEO John Baker welcomed the panellists and spoke about the importance of this unique public forum. 2021 Panel members shared their experiences of being on the Community Vision panel. Our consultants Mosaic Lab explained the facilitation process and answered questions. All panellists were given a hand book to assist with their preparation. The evening concluded with some light refreshments and networking.

Wednesday 6 April. 6 – 9pm. Session 1. Get to know your council – online session

This session introduced our panellists to the world of the Mornington Peninsula Shire council. We arranged for officers from each of our directorates and business units to be on hand to explain their roles and answer any questions. It was a bit like a speed dating session. The focus of this introductory session was to give our panellists an overview of what council does and some broader sector context for the up-coming sessions. The overwhelming response was “I didn’t realise council did so much!”

Wednesday 27 April. 6 – 9pm. Session 2. Asset Plan – online session

The Mornington Peninsula Shire is the custodian of approximately $2.31 billion worth of infrastructure assets on behalf of our community. These assets range from significant structures such as roads and buildings through to park furniture and play equipment. The infrastructure is fundamental to supporting the services the Shire provides, and it is important that this infrastructure is cared for appropriately to make sure that it is safe and functional.

While the Shire manages an extensive portfolio of assets on behalf of our community, the Asset Plan specifically covers infrastructure. The majority of infrastructure falls into major asset classes, being Transportation, Stormwater, Buildings and Facilities, and Open Space.

The opportunity to share the Asset Plan with the Citizens’ Panel offered a chance to ‘sense-check’ two key dilemmas for Council, prior to the final Asset Plan being presented to Council for adoption.

Download the report outlining the dilemmas, the panel discussion, and final results.


Wednesday 1 June. 6 – 9pm. Session 3. Peri-Regional – online session

The Mornington Peninsula is like no other area of Victoria with its urban/rural mix, its high-value agricultural and conservation land, and its iconic tourism destinations.

Despite 70% of the Peninsula being non-urban and regional in character, we are classified as metropolitan and miss out on much-needed funding streams designed to support regional areas.

Simply re-classifying the Peninsula from metropolitan to regional is not the answer – it will threaten protection of our Green Wedge and result in significant planning issues.

We need a new category – Peri-Regional – that recognises our unique challenges and opportunities and unlocks the significant economic potential of our region

The opportunity to share Council’s Peri-regional position with the Citizens Panel offered a chance to ask what conditions, if any, would make Peri-regional more palatable, and what other ideas could help build the case?

Download the report outlining the outputs, the panel discussion and considerations on this advocacy project.


Wednesday 6 July. 6 – 9pm. Session 4. Innovation summit – online session

On Wednesday 8 June 2022, the Mornington Peninsula Shire hosted an Innovation Summit to discuss opportunities and challenges for the region’s economic development over the next 10 years. Around 50 business sector participants attended, representing a cross section of the Peninsula, including five members of the Citizens Panel. Over the day, through facilitated conversations, summit participants identified nine key themes.

During this session, the Citizens’ Panel had the opportunity to further explore and expand on themed ideas generated at the Innovation Summit.

Download the report outlining the outputs, the panel discussions, considerations and final results.


Wednesday 3 August. 6 – 9pm. Session 5. Future Maintenance Contracts – online session

During this session, the Citizens’ Panel had the opportunity to explore and guide council on the complex issues of future maintenance contracts. More specifically, within a fiscally constrained budget, where should council direct its resources to ensure transparency with rates spending and ensure residents have a good experience with maintenance services.

Download the report outlining the panel discussions, considerations, and final results.


Wednesday 7 September. 6 – 9pm. Session 6. Climate Change – online session

The Mornington Peninsula Shire Council is at a crossroads when it comes to management of its own organisational emissions. Council currently has an adopted policy that commits to operating with zero net emissions and being certified by Climate Active. Council cannot achieve this without offsetting the emissions it can’t feasibly reduce or avoid. The council sought the sentiment of the Panel as to how to approach this in future.

During this session, the Citizens’ Panel met online to discuss and consider two key questions to support council’s thinking and direction with its climate change strategy.

The key questions were:

  1. At the household level, what responsibility should community take for their own emissions, and what support is needed from Council to empower the community to reduce their footprint in their own homes and travel?
  2. Should council invest in offsetting to achieve carbon neutrality OR invest in future potential local emissions reduction initiatives that might have additional benefits for the Shire?

Download the report outlining the panel discussions, considerations, and final results.

Wednesday 5 October. 6 – 9pm. Session 7. Council and Well-being Plan – online session

Wednesday 2 November. 6 – 9pm. Session 8. Review