Council brings in a new approach to community engagement

Council has introduced a Community Engagement Policy to put the views and ideas of the community at the heart of the decision-making process.

The policy was endorsed at last night’s Council meeting, following community consultation in December 2020.

Community members can expect more opportunities to work alongside Council to make decisions on policies, strategies, and other significant decisions.

The policy aims to:

  • Provide the basis for the community to have an active voice in contributing to Council decisions.
  • Outline our genuine intention to consider community input.
  • Increase transparency of the decisions that impact the community.
  • Build the community’s trust in Council’s decision-making process.
  • Contribute to better outcomes for the community.

To achieve its aims the policy identifies different levels of community engagement depending on the significance of the matter being considered, ranging from online polls and surveys to community meetings to focus groups and community-led panels.

The policy has been prepared in response to the new Local Government Act 2020 that requires all Victorian Councils to adopt a Community Engagement Policy by 1 March 2021.

The policy will be put into practice by Council immediately by using it to guide development of a Community Vision for the Shire. Council will then develop its’ Council Plan 2021-2025 and Financial Plan 2021-31 to respond to the community’s priorities.

Quotes attributable to Mayor Cr Danny Goss

“We’d like to thank all of the community members who took the time to provide their feedback on the draft policy during December. This policy outlines our commitment to making sure our decisions reflect our community’s priorities and meet their needs, and we’re putting it into practice immediately as we start developing the Community Vision.”

Quote attributable to Deputy Mayor Cr Michael Leaney

“We know the best decisions are informed decisions. As a Council, we’re looking to improve how and when we engage with communities across the Shire and this policy provides a strong basis for this. There is much valuable local knowledge out there so we want to make sure that it’s reflected in the decisions we make.”

Click to view a copy of the Community Engagement Policy(PDF, 9MB) .

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