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.