What is community engagement?

    Community engagement is a broad term we use to describe how we communicate with the community to understand their views, and work together to influence and shape the decisions Council makes about projects, plans, policies and programs. Community engagement is about having meaningful conversations with the community to help inform the decision-making process and strategic directions.

    What is a Community Engagement Strategy?

    Our Community Engagement Strategy is a high-level document that outlines our commitment to engaging with the community, the purposes for engaging, who we engage with, the general process, different levels of engagement, an overall framework, and limitations. It proposes broad goals to strengthen our approach to community engagement.  

    Why do we need a Community Engagement Strategy?

    We need a Community Engagement Strategy to provide clarity about our approach to engagement and how the community can participate. 

    Reviewing our engagement strategy is also a requirement under the Local Government Act 1993, and confirms Council’s commitment to robust and ongoing community engagement.    

    What is the Community Participation Plan – is it different to the Community Engagement Strategy?

    A Community Participation Plan (CPP) is a document that deals specifically with community engagement related to land-use planning, e.g. for Development Applications and Planning Proposals. It is a separate document to our Community Engagement Strategy – which addresses engagement related to other projects, plans, policies and programs.  

    What about Communications – what’s the difference?

    While communications and engagement are closely related, the Communications function focuses on informing the community; that is, providing information. Engagement expands this into two-way conversations and community involvement. 

    I’ve heard about the IAP2 Spectrum – what is that?

    The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) has developed a Spectrum of Public Participation which outlines 5 levels of engagement: Inform, Consult, Involve, Collaborate, and Empower. Different levels will be more (or less) appropriate for different projects, for different stages within the same project, and for different groups of stakeholders. Council’s framework for community engagement is adapted from the IAP2 spectrum, and forms part of our Community Engagement Strategy. 

    How will my feedback be used?

    The feedback you provide in response to our draft Community Engagement Strategy will be reviewed and considered for inclusion as we finalise the strategy.