The future vision for Narooma and its surrounding towns was made clear at a community workshop earlier this month - labeling the town as "the jewel of the South Coast".
Organised by the Narooma Chamber of Commerce, the community agreed the Narooma-Bermagui area should balance growth without damaging its natural attractions.
Workshop facilitator Michael Campbell was impressed by the town's residents' commitment to create their own community plan.
"For a town to come together to look at their own path into the future - you don't see that a lot," he said.
Mr Campbell said small towns who came together could dictate their own future.
"The significant turnout of people here shows the community has willingness to want that change," he said.
During the first workshop, participants brainstormed the town's strengths and weaknesses, threats and opportunities.
The natural beauty, outdoor activities and unspoiled coastal villages in the district contributed to the theme of "jewel of the South Coast".
One participant said a strength was the "strong cultural heritage, national parks and environmental attractions".
Weaknesses were the lack of employment opportunities, education and health care services. Areas of transport and the lack of economic diversity was also listed as a disadvantage to the town's future growth.
Opportunities and competitive advantages listed for Narooma to achieve a healthy future were tourism, events, local food and produce.
Long-term and short-term initiatives were brainstormed.
Some ideas put forward included;
- A coordinated community and tourism events calendar
- A customer service training campaign for hospitality staff
- Revitalisation of the town/beautify town landscapes
- A hub for students undertaking courses
- A local marketing strategy for tourism, food, agricultural produce, business
- Participate actively in discussions regarding by-pass
- A business attraction program
- A business expansion and retention program
- A local venture capital fund
The second workshop will take place this Friday to discuss vehicles to carry out initiatives and create a road map for the future.
Mr Campbell said: "It will be a robust discussion on who we are and where we need to go."
He said the next workshop is when the big ideas will become crystallised.
"The next workshop is about how to combat some of the threats and put things in action," Mr Campbell said.