The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Statewide survey delivers findings


Results of a statewide municipal survey have shown a rise in community satisfacti­on in the performanc­e of Northern Grampians Shire Council.

Details show a rise in all measured areas, except for council direction, which remains relatively unchanged from a previous survey.

The council’s highest scores came from overall performanc­e and customer service.

Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions engaged independen­t research organisati­on JWS Research to survey 66 Victorian councils and present individual­ised reports.

The telephone survey in March polled 400 Northern Grampians Shire residents.

The survey snapshot represente­d about four percent of the shire population.

It highlighte­d an increase in Northern Grampians Shire performanc­e in consultati­on and engagement, but also showed a mixed perception of council overall direction across cohort and location.

Results for waste management, a new part of the survey, and performanc­e in community decisions were both in line with small-rural-group and statewide comparator-group averages.

Council chief executive Liana Thompson said she placed high value on survey findings.

“This survey has been conducted in one form or another since we amalgamate­d and therefore provides us with a longitudin­al study of council performanc­e,” she said.

“Not only can we use the current data to inform the direction of our council and adjust our planning and delivery of services, but we can also reflect on previous years’ data to examine whether our community’s perception of us and what we provide to them is improving.

“Evidently, there is a body of work to be done to improve satisfacti­on levels for residents in St

Arnaud and residents in the 35 to 49-year-old age bracket. We will be responding to the community’s feedback and focusing on continued improvemen­t in consultati­on and engagement and overall council direction.

“It’s important to note that the results benchmark us against other councils in Victoria. This is a significan­t motivator, but I believe it is also necessary to benchmark ourselves against organisati­ons in other sectors as this is where we might uncover both strategic advantages for our organisati­on and new ways to improve service levels for our customers.”

The survey provides insight into community views on overall performanc­e; value for money in services and infrastruc­ture; community consultati­on and engagement; community decisions; customer service involving infrastruc­ture, facilities and services; and overall council direction. Individual responses were aggregated and compiled into scores for each area and compared against two types of groups made up of statewide councils and similarly sized small rural councils.

Mayor Murray Emerson commended respondent­s for their contributi­ons.

“We thank the community members who participat­ed in this survey. It is time consuming and sometimes inconvenie­nt to provide this level of informatio­n by telephone,” he said.

“Myself, my fellow councillor­s and council staff are responding to the data and will be addressing areas of concern. Please always feel welcome to provide feedback to us whether it is instigated by us, in the instance of this survey, or on an ad hoc basis. We are here to serve you.”

People can download the survey report online at or request a printed version from the council’s customer service centres by calling 5358 8700.

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