Changes to the Victorian Local Government Act in March 2020, have made it mandatory for all councils to have a community engagement policy in place by 1 March 2021.

Our Community Engagement Policy was adopted at a Council meeting on 23 February after extensive consulation with the community.

We would like to thank those community members for their feedback.

The Community Engagement Policy will guide Council and ensure we work in close collaboration with the community on a range of key issues.

The policy is underpinned by the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) framework. The framework emphasises that community engagement should: Inform; Consult; Involve; Collaborate; and Empower.

Also included in the policy is a commitment to apply deliberative engagement practices as required by legislation.

Among the key features of deliberative engagement is that it must be:

  • Representative in the sense that it involves a representative cross-section of the community, usually selected at random – with the aim of maximizing inclusion
  • Deliberative: allowing for extended consideration of a key question; and
  • Influential: Participants will be informed of the level of influence the community engagement process will have on Council decision-making.

Examples of when Council may undertake deliberative engagement include the long term Community Visions, Four-Year Council plans, financial management plans, Asset Management Plans and in projects of significant scope, complexity and impact.

A full copy is available here

What we heard

Engagement matters to the Nillumbik community - 84.07% of the community agreed with the principles to be included in the policy. Regardless of whether it chooses to engage or not, there is a strong view among the community that it is important that the opportunity to provide feedback be made easily available. 76.4% of respondents consider providing feedback to Council as very important.

Drivers & Barriers - The feedback identified a requirement to improve the way we inform the community of the results of the engagement, improve the method in which we communicate engagement activities and provide a clear purpose of the consultation. Majority of community groups reported that they are not aware of engagement when it is happening. If they do engage there is a view that their voices will not be heard and Council are not clear and transparent with their feedback and decision making. The primary factors driving engagement are a desire to keep council accountable and to ensure community voices shape Council decisions.

Channel Preferences - Digital communication is considered the primary channel for community members to receive and provide feedback. The survey data shows that the community prefer to be advised of consultation via:

 Email (86.14%)

 Facebook (60.84%)

 Letter delivered (37.3%)

Topics of Engagement - At present, community members are most likely to engage in topics that are linked to long-term strategy-building and community vision, however it is still considered vital for everyone to have the opportunity to provide feedback. The community found the following three areas are the most important to provide feedback on:

 Community Vision (54.78%)

 Shire wide council strategies (29.45%)

 Proposed planning applications and planning scheme amendments (29.13%)

Have your say

Privacy Collection Notice

Nillumbik Shire Council is collecting your personal information for the purpose of facilitating effective community engagement in relation to Council’s draft Community Engagement Policy.

The full content of a personal submission including any name/s is a public record and may be made available for public inspection and included in Council business papers.

Names will not be redacted unless anonymity is expressly requested and confidentiality granted to a submission.

The full content of a submission made on behalf of an organisation in relation to Council’s draft Community Engagement Policy, including the name of the organisation is a public record and may be made available for public inspection and included in Council business papers.

You have the right to access and correct your personal information. Enquiries for access should be made to the Privacy Officer 9433 3271, or PO Box 476, Greensborough Vic 3088.