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Sir Bob Parker to Address Councils at Rural Summit

Councils could consider preparing a set of emergency bylaws to support their communities during times of natural disaster according to Sir Bob Parker, who was Mayor of Christchurch City during its 2010 – 2011 earthquakes.

Sir Bob’s Leading Change presentation is a feature of this year’s Rural Councils Victoria (RCV) Rural Summit to be held in Halls Gap in April.

“We made changes virtually overnight to our bylaws because we had to lock down the entire central business district which affected about 50,000 jobs. We needed a functioning economy so we adjusted the bylaws to enable and support businesses to operate in residential districts, for example,” Sir Bob said.

Sir Bob spent 22 years in local government and won wide praise for his role, leadership and work in response to the earthquakes. This included being awarded the global Co-Creation Award for the post-earthquake design consultation ‘share an idea’, which he developed.

Sir Bob has just returned from the UK where he shared his learnings with Home Office staff.

RCV Chair, Cr Rob Gersch said Victorian councils, which regularly face natural disasters, would be keen to learn from Sir Bob.

“To have an international leader of Sir Bob’s calibre and experience is really exciting and will deliver practical insights for those who attend. The Rural Summit aims to address local government and rural community issues, and this is relevant to both,” Cr Gersch said.

This year’s theme Standing out from the flock: is difference the key to success in rural communities? will be addressed by a range of speakers and panel sessions featuring:

  •  SBS’s Matthew Evans, Tasmanian ‘gourmet farmer’ and local food advocate
  •  Naomi Simson, entrepreneur and founder of Red Balloon
  • Prof Elizabetta Barberio, scientist presenting on dark matter
  • Emma Dean, former town planner and Masterchef winner

The Rural Summit is an annual event of RCV.

RCV is the alliance of Victoria’s 38 rural councils. It supports and promotes sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural communities, including a program of activities focussed on developing practical solutions to issues shared by the state’s rural councils and communities.

The Rural Summit attracts delegates from government, leaders of business and industry and economic and community development practitioners from local government.

You can learn more about the Rural Summit and book your tickets here.

The Rural Summit is proudly supported by Rural Councils Victoria with funding from the Victorian Government’s $3.3 million Networked Rural Councils program. This year’s event will be hosted by the Northern Grampians Shire Council from 15 to 17 April in Halls Gap.


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