COMMUNITY leaders gathered at the Shire Futures forum, held at Gymea Tradies last Friday to discuss ideas to move the region forward.

The forum also looked at ideas for the shire in the areas of business, education, sport, welfare and the arts.

Ideas for sport included developing a centralised sporting body to look at the sporting needs of the shire, more volunteer coaches, looking at how school facilities could be used after hours, and developing Waratah Park as a centre of sporting excellence.

Business needs closer ties with the council and more training for shire businesses in the basics, such as how to write tenders.

Ideas to foster arts and culture include performances of Shakespeare in Gunnamatta Park, a zoo, an ice rink and cafe where youth could drop in at any time, and a talent quest for disabled people.

There could be a combined jazz, blues, folk, food and wine festival in the shire, with certain suburbs hosting different types of music.

And a museum could be built at Kurnell next to an Aboriginal cultural centre.

This could go hand-in-hand with a “Respect Festival” at Kurnell on Australia Day, where people can celebrate the value of mutual respect.

These ideas and more will be on a Shire Futures website which will be launched later this month.