It’s about “How” you have your say - community feedback invited
Published on 24 December 2020
A new draft Engagement Policy is available for public comment at West Wimmera Shire Council outlining ways residents get to influence decisions on important matters where they live, work and play.
New requirements introduced under the Local Government Act 2020 require all councils to adopt and maintain a Community Engagement Policy that addresses how residents have their say. Council has responded to these requirements by issuing a new draft of their policy and is now inviting community feedback.
A public notice on the West Wimmera Shire Council website outlines the process and links to the draft community engagement policy and a feedback survey for residents to complete. Council is seeking feedback from the community up until 29 January 2021.
Once the feedback period is over council will collate the findings from the survey and present them in a report at the next council meeting on 17 February 2021.
The new policy must be formally adopted on or before 1 March 2021 under local government guidelines.
After the council meeting in February, the policy will be implemented into the Council Strategic Plan.
It is expected that the policy will be reviewed annually; December is the proposed month for this review to take place.
Interim Chief Executive Officer, Paul Brumby, hopes shire residents will see the feedback process as a welcome opportunity to help tailor the policy to better suit their needs.
“While admittedly the timeline is tight for the community to respond to this survey, we trust they will recognise that it is driven by the need for council to comply with the new Local Government Act deadline of 1 March,” he said.
“We are giving the community as much time as we possibly can to have their say via the survey before council meets to look over the draft policy.
“It should be the residents’ input first and foremost that determines how we respond and engage with them going forward in community matters.
“Feedback is an essential component of policy development and this community engagement policy is one we really want to be as responsive as possible.”
The survey is live and accessible via council’s Public Notices page. A link to the survey will also be available on council’s Facebook page.
Hard copies of the survey and the policy can be issued in person at council’s Kaniva or Edenhope offices or mailed to residents by calling customer service on 13 99 72.