Policy adopted by Council

Our new Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy was adopted by Council on 16 February 2021.

About this project

We want you to be included in the Council decisions that affect you.

This inclusion primarily comes from meaningful, informed and authentic community engagement.

Community engagement is asking people what they think about ideas, plans or proposals so they can contribute to and influence the decisions that affect them.

Our Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy sets out when, why and how we’ll engage with our community to inform Council decisions. When reviewing the Policy, we had to meet new requirements of the Local Government Act 2020, including adopting principle statements and defining deliberative engagement practices.

Between October 2020 and January 2021, more than 250 community members shared their ideas and priorities for community engagement.

Feedback was provided through two open website surveys, a printed survey distributed through Bayside libraries, a targeted survey for young people, and workshops with three groups that represent hard-to-reach communities. Feedback from the the two phases of consultation was incorporated into a draft Policy.

A summary of the findings and actions from each phase of consultation is available to view here. You can also download the complete engagement report from the document library on this page to find out more.

What is included in the Policy?

We must adopt five engagement principles set by the Local Government Act 2020 in our Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy.

We have included a sixth principle because we want equality and fairness to be a priority in engagement.

We have developed Commitment Statements to clarify how we can deliver each Principle. These Statements were the focus of the first phase of consultation.

The draft Policy includes a list of definitions that explain in more detail technical information and terminology used in the Policy. Some of these definitions include:

  • Who is included in community
  • What is a stakeholder
  • What is representative participation
  • What are deliberative practices
  • What we mean when we say publish
  • What is the IAP2 Spectrum of Participation
  • Who are hard to reach / marginalised stakeholders

Council will engage the Bayside community and/or stakeholders on matters that both interest and affect them, including but not limited to:

  • Substantially changing or reviewing a Council service, program or facility
  • Significant review, change or proposing a new Council policy, plan or strategy
  • Capital works projects including public buildings, community centres or other infrastructure.

The Local Government Act (2020) nominates a number of documents and processes where the Policy must be applied. These are listed in the Policy.

Council may not engage when it has an adopted policy, strategy or decision that determines a clear direction for implementation which has already been the subject of appropriate community engagement.

The Policy does not apply where Section 223 of the 1989 Local Government Act still applies (discussed more below).

It also does not apply to routine statutory planning applications for residential developments on private land.

The Local Government Act 2020 states that an engagement policy must describe deliberative engagement practices that can be used in the development of the Community Vision, Council Plan, Financial Plan and Asset Plan.

The Act does not describe what these practices are or the tools and processes that must be used. Guidance from the State Government is that it should:

  • Be authentic
  • Include good representation of the community
  • Demonstrate how all views have been considered
  • Have accessible and relevant information
  • Transparency is key to an effective process.

These considerations have been incorporated into the commitment statements for the Engagement Principles.

The greatest difference between deliberative engagement and other forms of engagement is the emphasis on activities being designed to enable the consideration of information and collaboration between participants. It is expected that someone participating in a deliberative style process will be provided with information, and given time to consider it, before making an informed decision. Some deliberative processes may include bringing together a group of representative individuals to form a mutually agreed decision.

The Bayside definition of deliberation

Within the draft Policy we have prepared the following as a definition of deliberation:

A fair and transparent process by which we provide the relevant representative people/group with the practical information, forums and resources they need to reach a considered conclusion and provide recommendations on a defined issue.

This may occur in combination with other formats of research or engagement.

In the previous Local Government Act (1989), Section 223 listed a specific consultation methodology to be undertaken on many Council decisions.

This process required members of the public to submit a written response to a proposal that would be considered at a public meeting of Council. People who had made a submission could also request to speak at the meeting for up to 15 minutes.

The new Local Government Act (2020) has repealed, or removed, the application of Section 223 in many circumstances. Consultation with the community on these matters is now to be undertaken in line with the Community and Stakeholder Engagement Policy.

The documents or processes no longer requiring Section 223:

  • Council Plan
  • Financial Plan
  • Development or review of the Asset Management Plan
  • Budget or revised budget
  • Purchase or compulsory acquisition of land; sale or exchange of land; or the lease of land.

Section 223 will still apply in the following circumstances:

  • Council decision to change system of valuation
  • Special rates
  • Rebates and concessions
  • Regional Library agreements
  • Concentration or diversion of drainage
  • Drainage of land
  • A range of traffic and road related matters.

This change is defined in the Local Government Act (2020) and is not a Bayside City Council decision or open for feedback from the community.

The first phase of consultation was open from 26 October to 22 November 2020, with 241 people taking part. Feedback was provided through an open survey on this website, a printed survey distributed through Bayside libraries, a targeted survey for young people, and workshops with three groups that represent hard-to-reach communities. Feedback from the first phase of consultation was incorporated into a draft Policy.

The second and final phase of consultation was open from 10 December 2020 to 10 January 2021, with 8 individuals and two stakeholder groups representing hard-to-reach communities taking part. Feedback was provided via an open survey on this website and workshop discussions.

Click here to view the complete community engagement report and results.


  • Timeline item 1 - complete

    Community consultation on engagement principles

    Open: 26 October 2020 to 22 November 2020

    Read the results of this engagement.

  • Timeline item 2 - complete

    Development of draft Policy incorporating feedback

  • Timeline item 3 - complete

    Community consultation on draft policy

    Open: 10 December 2020 to 10 January 2021

    Read the results of this engagement.

  • Timeline item 4 - complete

    Draft Community Engagement Policy 2021 presented to Council for adoption

    Policy adopted by Council 16 February 2021

    Read the adopted Community and Stakeholder Policy 2021.