Precinct areas - an innovative consultation method

Did you know? The ‘precincts’ model was birthed from a community consultation in 1971 which invited 240 residents to assess planning issues for the development of a draft Flat Code (planning controls for apartment blocks).

The resulting planning controls failed to address the community’s growing concern over flat buildings being constructed across the area and Council resolved to have a detailed review of the planning controls. A network of 56 residential and seven commercial precincts were established to assist with the process.

These early Precinct groups met in private homes and were charged with conducting household surveys to determine what planning controls residents considered desirable in their neighbourhood. The input was invaluable for the new planning scheme (now known as a Development Control Plan) but once completed there was confusion over the role of the Precincts and a number disbanded.

In 1981, a new Council committed to 'open government' under the leadership of Ted Mack, re-established a network of 26 Precincts with a broader charter. This new charter made Precincts independent so that they could critique Council as well as have input into all Council’s policies and projects, not just planning matters. In 1995, two Precincts amalgamated, leaving the 25 Precinct areas we have today.

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