Our community and other interested parties, such as stakeholders, have the right to be included in the Council decisions or actions that affect, impact or interest them, such as the development and implementation of policies, infrastructure and facilities, programs and services.
Here's how we identify and define who our community and stakeholders are:
‘Community’ is used to describe people of a municipality generally, including individuals or groups who live, work, play, study, visit, invest in or pass through the municipality.
The role of a Council is to provide good governance in its municipal district for the benefit and wellbeing of the municipal community.
Under the Local Government Act 2020, the ‘municipal community’ includes:
- people who live in the municipal district of the Council; and
- people and bodies who are ratepayers of the Council; and
- traditional owners of land in the municipal district of the Council; and
- people and bodies who conduct activities in the municipal district of the Council.
We use the word 'stakeholder' to refer to an organisation or defined group of people who are interested, affected by, or contribute to an outcome – some examples are government departments, traders/business operators, and community organisations such as sports clubs, environmental groups, and service clubs etc.
Stakeholders differ from the general community in that they have a specific and known stake in the outcome of a decision. They may be organised into formal or informal groups based on a shared interest or position on an issue.
Understanding community and stakeholder interest
For every community engagement, we undertake an assessment to identify the sections of the community and stakeholders that have a connection to the project or matter. This information is used to understand the types of tools and techniques that will be most effective for engagement and communication.
For each stakeholder, we assess:
Impact: What level of change will the stakeholder experience as a result of the project/matter
Interest: What level of interest has been expressed or is anticipated
Influence: We use the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) spectrum to identify the level of influence the stakeholder can expect over the end outcome or decision.
Community members and/or stakeholders who are identified as likely to experience a significant impact from a change or decision, may be offered a higher level of engagement and influence on the decision than others.
Hard to reach community members
There are groups or sections of our community who may find it more difficult to participate in community engagement activities. These groups can be considered ‘hard to reach’ because of the barriers to engagement that they experience. These groups include, but are not limited to:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
- Children, young and older people
- Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD)
- Lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex and queer (LGBTIQA+) people
- New and established migrant communities
- New residents to the municipality
- People experiencing homelessness
- People with health issues
- People with limited literacy
- People with limited access to and/or skill in digital technologies
- People with lived experience of disability
- People with lower discretionary income
- People with non-standard work patterns/schedules
- Residents in public housing
We will adapt engagement tools and processes to ensure fair, inclusive and accessible representation for these sections of the community and support their participation. We also recognise the requirement to consider gender identity and its impact on participation and tool selection.
For community members who may experience barriers to participation, additional resources may be considered such as:
- Information and feedback processes in alternative formats
- Support to participate, including personal care and/or support, transport
- Incentives such as an expense allowance or prize draws.
Next → How we identify the level of participation and influence the community and/or stakeholders can expect to have on decisions.