In 1999, a Jesuit Social Services study identified Seymour as the 10th most disadvantaged postcode in Victoria.
Some people in the local community believed that a number of external factors had influenced this rating, including the loss of several textile industries due to global economic rationality, changes in Department of Defence policy with services being delivered by private contractors, and military housing in Seymour being returned to Department of Housing stock. These changes impacted on the economic wellbeing of Seymour and, in turn, the general wellbeing of the community.
This listing in the Jesuit study spurred some concerned residents into action. In the manner of "when the going gets tough, the tough get going" - an oft used phrase at the time, it was decided that Seymour needed to take control of its own destiny. After some preliminary discussions, the community was invited to a planning workshop, the outcome of which was the first 'The Seymour We Want' community action plan (2001). This document listed 11 desired outcomes for the town.
It also highlighted the need for a community development facilitator which was the focus of a grant application submitted to the Victorian Government's Community Support Fund. The success of this application then accelerated community action, with further public consultation being held which resulted in the ‘Seymour 2015’ community plan (2005).
This plan for Seymour’s future was obtained through community consensus: from the views of hundreds of local residents at public consultations and in planning days in 2001 and 2004. This is the current Action Plan and is available on our 2015 Action Planpage.