A new approach to community engagement

26 May 2014

Council has reiterated its commitment to involving the community in decisions that affect them by adopting a new Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy.

Mayor Laurence Evans said good decisions reflect the values of the community and new guiding principles would ensure a coordinated and consistent approach.

“It’s important that our community engagement processes result in useful information about community needs, aspirations and opinions that can be considered along with other financial, legal and sustainability considerations to resolve issues.

 “We acknowledge the best way to improve our decision making is to gain input from those who are most affected and interested. By involving the community and our stakeholders in engagement processes we learn more and reach better outcomes.

“We want our community and stakeholders to know that they are being listened to and see that reflected in our decisions.

“We will ensure the purpose of our engagement is clear and understood, and clearly communicate what can and can’t change so that the community knows what they can influence.

“We will ensure a diversity of views by planning processes and using tools and techniques that are accessible to all ages and abilities. And we will inform participants of how their contributions influenced the issue,” he said.

Following the decision to shift its focus to a broader and more inclusive engagement program, Council has reviewed its three engagement forums and will increase its use of community reference groups to be established on a project by project basis.

An Arts and Culture Advisory Committee has replaced the former Arts and Culture Forum. The Environment and Recreation and Open Space Forums will be dissolved and members will be invited to be involved in the development of an Environmental Sustainability Framework and a Sports and Recreation Network.

Mayor Evans expressed his appreciation to community members who had participated in the forums, thanking them for their time and contributions.

“We are confident that in the longer term, shifting focus to a broader and more inclusive engagement program will have benefits for the whole community,” he said.

Page last updated: 26 May 2014