“This plan is about Dumbleyung choosing to control its own destiny.” That is how Shire of Dumbleyung president Julie Ramm described the council’s new 10-year strategic plan ahead of its formal launch on Thursday. A giant yabby and emu, virtual reality experiences, and the use of electronic tagging for livestock are among the ideas suggested in the 11-point strategy for the council to take it through to 2032. Shire chief executive Gavin Treasure said it was an “exciting, landmark day” for the Shire. “It is a plan that contains a number of significant projects targeting real jobs and growth outcomes through supporting our existing industries, growing and expanding new ones, and offering opportunities to diversify our local economy,” he said. The plan will seek to address four key community wishes in the next decade: increasing the local population, attracting new businesses, becoming a tourism destination and maintaining local facilities. The council plan acknowledges that agriculture will continue to play a significant role in the local economy, with a “smart farm” trial site planned to trial farming in the digital age. Other innovations flagged for possible testing at the site include autonomous vehicles, sensor probes, remote CCTV, drones and electronic livestock tagging. With the area set to continue suffering from a drying climate, establishing an alternative source of water for the area’s agriculture and aquaculture sectors has also been identified as a key priority. But with a significant focus on diversifying the economy, increasing tourism has become a big target for the council. The redevelopment of the main streets of Dumbleyung and Kukerin is on the cards, with the council hoping to create tourist drawcards. One idea noted in the report for Dumbleyung’s main street is a virtual reality experienced linked to Donald Campbell’s speed record achievement at Lake Dumbleyung. A welcoming “coat of arms” could be installed in Kukerin, incorporating a big yabby and emu in recognition of the town’s export industries. Other tourism initiatives include redeveloping Lake Dumbleyung, improving accommodation options and supporting Dumbleyung’s Aboriginal tourism industry. Rounding out the plan’s goals are a greater focus on council asset management, forming closer partnerships with local health and education providers, supporting small business, and looking at mining exploration opportunities. The plan notes the council will have to work with the Federal and State governments, as well as the private sector in order to achieve the outlined goals. Shire president Julie Ramm said the area had been hit by a shrinking population, economy and number of services. “The status quo isn’t going to cut it if we are serious about making significant positive change,” Ms Ramm said. “The council is confident that if everything identified in the plan is delivered, this will put the Shire of Dumbleyung on a positive growth trajectory.” Ms Ramm said the new strategic direction would not compromise the council’s ability to meet operational requirements, but some repurposing of resources would be required. “Given the excellent condition of the Shire road network, some resources will now be diverted towards built infrastructure, particularly asset renewal, maintenance and capital investment”, she said. Two new positions will be created as part of the change: an economic development officer and a technical officer. Two existing positions will be made redundant, including the Shire’s Landcare manager. Part of the plan will be put into action on Thursday when the council hosts three workshops to generate ideas for its two main street revitalisations. To view the full plan, visit dumbleyung.wa.gov.au.