How our towns evolve over the next two decades may be helped along by a new local government strategic plan.
Bega Valley Shire Council's community, environment and planning director Dr Alice Howe said the new Local Strategic Planning Statement is aimed at preparing for growth while maintaining the "unique character and landscape" of the area.
"We're really trying to keep the scope tight," she said.
"We want to accommodate growth but keep the uniqueness of each town. We are absolutely mindful of the energy people have put in [to public consultations] already."
The state government now requires all regional councils to adopt a planning statement by the end of June next year.
Mayor Kristy McBain said the move is likely due to a "change of mindset" within the state government planning department, and local MPs will have councils more easily able to help meet their needs.
Council's general manager Leanne Barnes said their was a "disconnect" between the Office of Local Government and the planning department.
"Quite often the various agencies didn't work together," she said.
Council said the plan will "translate the vision and priorities from the Community Strategic Plan 2040 and other strategies" into plans for future land use.
Dr Howe said transport, economics, housing and the respect of places of cultural significance to traditional custodians will be priorities.
"The statement brings together important information about our unique environment, the character of our communities, our cultural identities and our economy to set priorities for building a prosperous and liveable shire," council's manager for planning and sustainability, Keith Tull, said.
He said strategies currently in development on commercial and residential land, rural living and Djiringanj and Thaua cultural heritage mapping will be worked into the strategy.
Dr Howe said residents in town centres are supportive of higher density living, and affordable housing and a relevantly diverse housing mix will likely be part of the strategy.
She said climate change projections from a "hazard perspective" will also be included in any planning controls.
"The development will have to be appropriate to that hazard," she said.
Mayor McBain said parts of the strategy, which she described as a "balancing act", will go on public exhibition in October.
"We will take lessons where we can, and try to ensure we're representing a balance of community views," she said.