Project objective

The Community Garden Policy guides how decisions will be made regarding the establishment and management of community gardens. It aims to streamline the process to establish a community garden, define how applications will be assessed and clarify how Council will support community garden groups.

The current Policy is due to be reviewed as part of Council’s cyclical policy review and update program.

As part of the scheduled 2023 review, we’re proposing various additions and amendments, which are outlined in the ‘Impacts’ section below.

We’re seeking community feedback to gain a better understanding of the demand for community gardens and on proposed amendments to the Policy to ensure they are clear and equitable.

Project impacts

This Policy guides how decisions will be made regarding how community gardens are established and maintained and outlines the level of support community garden groups can expect to receive from Bayside City Council.

The objectives are to:

  • Provide a consistent and equitable approach to the establishment and management of community gardens
  • ensure that all community gardens will be maintained and maximise available use for the public
  • ensure that the garden is appropriately managed
  • achieve a positive community and environmental outcome
  • simplify the application process for community garden applicants
  • develop clear criteria for the establishment of community gardens.

The achievement of the objectives of this Policy will:

  • Increase Council’s community garden areas
  • improve local connectedness for Bayside residents (e.g. increasing social and community connections, increasing recreational opportunities)
  • enable community groups to establish community gardens that thrive and are sustainably managed.

Specific impacts where the proposed Policy differs from the existing Policy are outlined below:

Council’s Role and Community Engagement

Council’s role in community gardens will vary according to land ownership and complexity of the community garden site. Given the interest and history of community gardens in Bayside, broad scale community engagement will generally be required. To ensure success of the various types of community gardens, clear engagement will be undertaken by Council with support by the subject community garden group.

Application and Assessment Process

To assist community groups in determining whether the request for a community garden is reasonable and to ensure time is managed effectively, the revised Policy offers a ‘Two Stage’ application process.

Stage 1 is a general level inquiry about community gardens and an opportunity for the community group to highlight their idea and discuss the criteria.

Stage 2 enables Council and the community group to go into more detail about the garden design, community engagement requirements and processes that may require further or more detailed planning.

What information do we need from the community?

The community is invited to read the draft Community Garden Policy and provide feedback. We are seeking feedback to determine if the community is satisfied with the updates to the Policy and if further changes or additions are required.

What can the community influence?
  • The type of garden they want to establish
  • the management of the garden
  • level of support applicants require from Council
  • roles and responsibilities
  • decision-making process
  • suggested locations for community gardens.
What can’t the community influence?
  • Permit requirements
  • monitoring, evaluation and review of established gardens
  • application costs.

Stakeholders and community

This stakeholder assessment is a generalised understanding of sections of the community that have a connection to the project or matter. This information is used to understand the types of tools and techniques that will achieve the strongest and most effective outcomes for engagement and communication.

Impact: What level of change the stakeholder / community segment may experience as a result of the project / matter

Interest: What level of interest has been expressed or is anticipated

Influence: Reference to the IAP2 Spectrum

Stakeholder / community




Residents adjacent to potential sites




Community Group Users at current or potential sites




Bayside gardeners and clubs




Friends Groups




Local environment groups




General Bayside community




Selected tools and techniques

The tools and techniques selected for this project are informed by the project content, stakeholders and type of feedback sought.

Key tools for communicating the project
  • News story on Council’s website and e-newsletter This Week in Bayside
  • social media
  • direct email to community groups and HYS subscribers
  • digital screens at libraries and Corporate Centre.
Key methods for gathering feedback
  • Online consultation via Council’s Have Your Say platform, including opportunities to suggest new community garden locations and provide feedback
  • contact details for interested community members to ask for further information or provide feedback
  • printed information available, as required.

Project timelines

Key Dates: For this phase

Item title

Start date

(& time if relevant)

End date

(& time if relevant)


(if required)

Community consultation

30 March 2023

5 May 2023

Consideration of community feedback

May 2023

A Community Engagement Summary report will be prepared.

Council considers draft Policy for adoption

June 2023

June 2023

Council is expected to consider community feedback and the revised draft Policy at its June meeting.

Decision-making process

Community and stakeholder consultation on the draft Policy will be held for a four-week period from Thursday 30 March 2023 – Friday 5 May 2023.

Community feedback will be collated and presented to Council for their consideration and amendments will be made to the draft Community Garden Policy, as required.

It is expected that a report on community feedback and the proposed Community Garden Policy will be considered for adoption by Council at its ordinary meeting in June 2023 (specific dates have not yet been released).

The agenda for this meeting, including the community engagement report and Council Officer's recommendation in relation to the draft Community Garden Policy, will be published on Council's website on the Wednesday prior to the Council meeting. Project subscribers will be notified when the report is available.

All Council meetings are live-streamed via Council’s website. Community members can also ask a question or request to be heard at this meeting.

More information

Kirsten Friend

Sustainability Projects Officer

T: 9599 4751