We are committed to inclusive, meaningful and responsive communication and engagement to support our decisions so we can deliver informed leadership and decision making.

We engage to understand and consider the priorities, needs and aspirations of our diverse communities in our decision-making process.

Community input helps shape our region’s planning, services, facilities and amenities, contributing to a sustainable, affordable and vibrant future.

Our policy and framework

On 15 June 2022, Council adopted a renewed Community Engagement Policy, which outlines Council's commitment to community engagement. Our policy is in line with legislative requirements and contemporary industry practice.

Our policy is supported by our Community Engagement Framework, which outlines Council’s approach to engaging with our communities. It covers our overarching principles, engagement process and how we use the information you share with us.

Our Principles

Our principles guide our engagement and support meaningful conversations and consistency across Council projects.

CollaborativeWe work together with our stakeholders and communities to build purposeful relationships and develop mutual understanding.
InclusiveWe enable participation for those who contribute to, influence or are affected by our work where possible. We actively seek to include people of different ages, genders, sexual orientations, incomes, abilities and disabilities, religions, backgrounds, and cultures.
TransparentWork with other stakeholders to achieve shared goals. We will be honest and open in our engagement. We will be clear about what we are engaging on and how decisions will be made. We will share the results of engagement with our communities.
TimelyWe will provide information to our communities with enough time for people to access, understand, consider, and participate in the process before we make a decision.
ResponsiveWe recognise engagement is a dynamic, ongoing process that requires us to be flexible and responsive to our current operating environment and feedback from our communities.
MeasurableWe will monitor and evaluate our engagement activities to help us improve over time

Our Process

Community engagement should be a carefully planned process that applies a level of consistency across our activities. It is not a one size fits all approach. We tailor our engagement by following these steps:

  1. Discover: Analyse needs and understand the context.
  2. Develop: Prepare the Community Engagement Plan
  3. Deliver: Implement the engagement plan.
  4. Debrief: Evaluate and report on engagement.
  5. Council decison: Council considers many factors in making a decision including ocmmunity input.

Our Approach

Every project is unique. The level of engagement will be determined by the complexity of the issues and the potential for the community to influence the outcomes.

There are a range of circumstances where Council will not engage, such as urgent decisions or confidential matters.

Council is guided by leading industry practice, such as the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2), as well as legislative requirements, such as the Local Government Act 2009. Our engagement approach includes three levels: inform, consult and participate.

Types of projects where we engageTypes of projects where we don't engage
  • Introducing or changing region wide strategic or complex issues, projects and programs
  • Some policies, plans, services, facilities, land use planning and projects.
  • Urgent resolutions (e.g. emergencies)
  • Public safety
  • Governing legislation, where Council is not the lead organisation
  • Confidential items or matters
  • Some Council policy and operational procedures
  • Routine asset maintenance.