People Place Future

PPF tile

Thanks to everyone - almost 1200 people - who took the time to have their say about the future of Surf Coast Shire through the survey, online submissions or in person discussions. 

Read the Community Engagement report(PDF, 7MB)

Your input will inform a long-term community vision for the shire and a 4 year Council Plan, as well as other strategic documents Council will develop during the year, including the 10 Year Financial Plan and 10 year Asset Management Plan.

Community Panel

For the next phase of engagement, we have convened a group of 35 diverse community members to hear from experts, deliberate on important topics, and present recommendations to Council. The Panel commenced on Wednesday 24 March, and will meet throughout April and May.

Reflections from the Panel

 Session 4: 5 May


Session 2: 20 April


Session 1: 28 March


The make up of the Panel

From the 239 people who expressed an interest, 35 people were chosen at random - by independent organisation Sortition - to match the demographic make up of our shire. The below diagram shows the census data on the left, and the confirmed panel members on the right.  

PPF Panel Selection.jpg

Read the Background Report(PDF, 5MB) that has been prepared for the Panel.

Find out more about the Community Panel in our FAQ(PDF, 280KB)

What is the new Local Government Act?

The Local Government Act 2020 introduced a number of changes to the way Council's go about working with communities to develop key strategic documents.  Councils are now required to undertake specific community engagement processes, during the development of the Council Plan and Community Vision, as well as for an Asset Plan and 10 year Financial Plan. Our People Place Future project encompasses these engagement requirements. 

Why is Council creating a Community Vision?

Most of us probably have an idea in our mind of what we want for the future. Having a forward view is an important step in planning and preparing for what is to come. Creating a community vision is an opportunity to combine individual ideas into a single collective statement. Being deliberate about the future and putting your aspirations in writing is an important step in goal setting.

The Victorian Government introduced a new Local Government Act in 2020 which requires all Councils to facilitate a Community Vision on behalf of their community. The vision will inform the development of the Council Plan – Council’s four year strategic document.

What is deliberative engagement?

Deliberative engagement is a process where people get to explore a topic in a much deeper way, before considering – or deliberating – on a recommendation.

Surf Coast Shire Council will be using deliberative engagement in the second phase of People Place Future.

Once the survey has closed we will invite a panel of community members to review the comments people have provided. This panel will be comprised exclusively of citizens from our community – neither Councillors nor Council officers will sit on the panel. The panel members will be randomly selected from a larger group of people who express an interest in taking part.

A process known as random stratified sampling will be used to make sure the panel composition is a fair and accurate representation of our shire community. Amongst other things it will ensure there is the right gender balance, that age groups are represented and that there is right proportion of people from our different townships.

Independent facilitators will make the selection and will work with the panel members throughout the deliberative phase.

We will be inviting people to express their interest in being a member of the community panel in February. It’s likely the panel will meet on three separate days to fully explore, and deliberate on, the issues.

When the panel meets they can ask to hear from experts and community leaders to get a better understanding of the issues before they members make their recommendations.

We are excited to provide this deeper level of community engagement on this important project.

To ensure we seek input from a broad and diverse range of community members through the People Place Future project, Council is working with the following consultants:

Place Score
Place Score will deliver and analyse the surveying process that will kick start the People Place Future project, seeking out a broad range of community insights. 

Mosaic Lab
Leaders in the field of deliberative engagement, Mosiac Lab will oversee the deliberate engagement process, and facilitate the Community Panel.

Sortition Foundation 
Specialists in recruitment and representative sampling, Sortition will oversee the selection of members for our Community Panel.


 Community members talk about their vision for Surf Coast Shire

 Surf Coast Shire Mayor Libby Stapleton talks about People Place Future