What is community engagement?

    Community engagement is about the Glen Eira community shaping Council directions, decisions and actions that affect, impact or interest them. It is a purposeful, planned process where stakeholders, communities and Council work together to inform decisions about services, events, strategic pland, issues, and projects.

    Community engagement is also about the community initiating conversations about things that matter to them, and having open and honest intereactions with Council.

    What is the Community Engagement Policy?

    The engagement policy is:

    • a formal statement of principle that directs Council’s approach to engagement, to which it is accountable.
    • a promise that gives effect to community engagement principles, that engagement will:

    (a) state clearly a defined objective and scope;

    (b) provide access to objective, relevant and timely information to inform participation;

    (c) ensure representative views of diverse persons and groups

    (d) give reasonable support to enable meaningful and informed engagement;

    (e) inform about the ways the engagement will influence Council decision making.

    • an expression of commitment to deliberative engagement practices which are capable of being applied to the development of the Community Vision, Council Plan, Financial Plan and Asset Plan and any other major council matters with regard to the significance and complexity of each matter.
    • an agreement to inform the community of outcomes of community engagement.

    Why are we reviewing our Policy?

    In March 2020, the Victorian Government adopted the Local Government Act 2020. The Act requires councils to adopt and maintain a community engagement policy by 1 March 2021. The Act is a principles-based Act with the aim of ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to engage Council on local priorities and the future of our community. Glen Eira Council adopted its first Community Engagement Policy in 2017. We now have the opportunity to review our current policy to bring it inline with the requirements under the Act. You can find out more about the Local Government Act here or by downloading a copy of it from the document library.

    What is the Local Government Act 2020?

    The new Local Government Act 2020 is the most ambitious reform to the local government sector in over 30 years. The Act will improve local government democracy, accountability and service delivery for all Victorians. It is a principles-based Act, removing unnecessary regulatory and legislative prescription. 

    You can find out more about the Act here.

    What is deliberative engagement?

    Deliberative engagement is all about placing people (citizens, residents, affected individuals) closer to the affairs of government and decision-makers. It generally aligns with the ‘Involve’, ‘Collaborate’, ‘Empower' range of the IAP2 spectrum. Deliberative engagement encourages people to critically test, weigh up and debate with a range of perspectives, inputs and evidence. It is an alternative approach to asking people for feedback on a matter that may not be front of mind, which elicits uninformed responses. Instead, deliberative approaches seek to elicit informed, quality, meaningful outputs.

    What are the community engagement principles?

    Section 55 2(b) of the Act states that a community engagement policy must give effect to the community engagement principles.

    Section 56 sets out those prinicples:

    1. a community engagement process must have a clearly defined objective and scope;
    2. participants in community engagement must have access to objective, relevant and timely information to inform their participation;
    3. participants in community engagement must be representative of the persons and groups affected by the matter that is the subject of the community engagement;
    4. participants in community engagement are entitled to reasonable support to enable meaningful and informed engagement;
    5. participants in community engagement are informed of the ways in which the community engagement process will influence Council decision making.