Strathbogie Shire residents are invited to join a community panel which will provide input into Council’s important plans, projects and strategies.
The Share Strathbogie Community Panel is being established to continue Council’s goal to deliver best practice community engagement.
Membership will not be capped – meaning everyone who points up their hand will join – with at least half the panel being renewed every two years.
Strathbogie Shire Council Mayor, Cr Laura Binks, said Council had been working hard on improving its community engagement.
“Our goal is to strengthen community representation in our decision making. We know that we make better decisions when we’re working with our community,” Cr Binks said.
“Last year we held our first ever deliberative forum to develop our Community Vision and Council Plan.”
One of the next projects on Council’s ‘to do’ list is the establishment of the community panel and the development of a new Community Engagement Strategy, when the current strategy concludes in 2022.
“We want to increase opportunities for genuine, meaningful and informed participation,” she said.
“We’re keen to hear from you on how we can do better. We know we don’t always get it right.
“But Council wants to have positive and proactive conversations with our community.”
The community panel will not replace broad community engagement and Council will always provide opportunities for the community to have its say.
Cr Binks said panellist would be asked to provide input on an ‘as needs’ basis and could volunteer as much, or as little, time as they liked.
She said they would be asked to share their views on a wide range of topics from rates to recycling, pets to parks and environment to economic development.
“At times a sample of people representing the diversity of our community will be asked to participate in more in-depth deliberative engagement,” Cr Binks said.
“When this happens panellist will receive a $50/day payment to recognise their time and commitment.”
Participants will be asked some personal information and areas of interest in the sign-up process.
“Council is listening. We want to work together. This is your opportunity to get involved,” she said.
To join the community panel, or share your input into a new Community Engagement Strategy go to www.share.strathbogie.vic.gov.au
Council will also be hitting the streets to gather feedback early in the new year so residents can expect to see Council popping up in townships across the Shire.
Applications will close on February 24, 2023.