Local government is important to the everyday lives of Australian people and open community engagement is at the core to all work of Council
The City of Ballarat consults with the community on all major projects and all plans for Ballarats future. Residents are welcome to attend Council meetings to share opinions or ask questions of their elected councillors. This Council developed the Community Engagement Framework is this Councils commitment to open, authentic conversations with residents and rate payers, incorporating community engagement into all the work of the City of Ballarat.
As well as traditional face-to-face consultation, the City of Ballarat has embraced popular new communication. In 2015, the City of Ballarat created myTownHall, an open-all-hours online location for all community engagement and consultation. Social Media is a free, open platform for community consultation and opinion, with more than 40,000 people connected to the City of Ballarats social media sites.
In an online poll in 2015, 26% said they keep updated with Council with myBallarat magazine and 25% said Social Media. The City of Ballarat delivers its myBallarat community magazine to every home and business in the municipality, as well as local cafes and attractions, to keep residents and visitors up-to-date with whats happening in our city.
This Councils list of community engagement processes includes:
Ballarat Imagine & Strategy an open community conversation with all residents on what they love about Ballarat and imagine for Ballarats future in 2040. These great ideas were fed into the 10 Game Changing Questions community engagement, and then the creation of the Ballarat Strategy, the citys strategic vision for 2040.
Childrens Consultation City of Ballarat is a leader in consulting with its youngest residents. Council partnered with other local governments to deliver the Engaging Children in Decision Making guide, which received State Government Early Years Award in 2013. Council is also finalising a childrens consultation which surveyed local 1500 children, and a consultation with local Aboriginal families regarding their views about early years services.
Engaging Communities Program worked closely with local residents, businesses and community groups in Miners Rest, Buninyong, Learmonth, Sebastopol, Brown Hill and Cardigan Village. Key project is supporting community newsletters to continue the neighbourhood conversation.
Budget Priority Projects Survey Council invited residents to agenda for community works in the 2015/16 Budget, delivering 11 priority projects requested by residents including the new CBD toilet, redevelopments at Her Majestys Theatre and Sebastopol Library, and the Black Hill car park