2,400 Brains Are Better Than 1

YOUR THOUGHTS ARE PIVOTAL IN PLANNING OUR FUTURE

Thank you to everyone who participated in providing feedback over the last few months through the ‘Planning for the Future’ resident surveys, citizen forums and in-depth interviews. The discussion created through these activities explored your views on topics such as population increase, where development is best located, transport, traffic and parking challenges, sustaining our natural environment and the cultural and sporting life we all value.

There was a great response from across our community on the issues that are important to you. Over 2,400 responses were received with additional feedback about the survey shared through our social media channels.

Some of your feedback about the survey centred on the structure and wording of questions, which you told us was at times challenging due to the limited answer options. While there was no intention to lead responses, the survey questions intended to generate difficult decisions.

Your feedback ensures our decision making at Council is informed by your preferences as we seek to address challenges and create new opportunities that enrich our community now and into the future.

You told us:

  • Parks, bushland, creeks and waterways are well used assets and contribute significantly to quality of life
  • You are widely satisfied with road and footpath conditions; however there are concerns about possible deterioration in quality due to development • Over half of you use the pools and leisure centres each month
  • There’s a preference for development to be focussed around key centres
  • There’s preference for four larger libraries over a new, bigger library in Sutherland
  • The Sutherland Entertainment Centre is an important cultural facility; however modernisation of the facility and program would attract broader audiences
  • Council needs to provide better ways to engage online and increase our communication across digital and social media
  • You want to understand more about Council’s financial status and how your rates are determined.

Overall results:

Many of you do not want to increase residential rates beyond the 2.3% cap set by State Government for 2018/19. As such, Councillors have already decided to limit any overall increase in rate revenue to a maximum of 2.3%.

However, the results also showed that you feel there is a need to reduce the rate gap between apartment and house owners. And surprisingly, this response was not limited exclusively to house owners. This is one of a range of options we will consider.

All feedback, opinions and solutions discussed as part of the survey and forums are now being carefully considered. Before the end of this financial year we will report the forums’ and survey’s findings in more detail. Your extensive feedback will inform a wide range of decisions we must make to meet the challenges we face.

QUICK WAYS TO STAY INFORMED AND BE PART OF DECISION MAKING:

1. Sign up to Join the Conversation, our online consultation tool

2. Sign up on our website to receive the Our Shire newsletter via email

3. Keep an eye on our website for updates and to view our Community Plan, Operational Plan and Delivery Program

4. Like ‘SutherlandShireCouncil’ on Facebook.

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