Community satisfaction survey results improve but still a long way to go

Posted Monday 1 July, 11:01am

Ararat Rural City Council has improved its community satisfaction survey results this year with the organisation’s CEO acknowledging it still has a long way to go to better its position.

CEO Dr Tim Harrison said it was encouraging to see the community’s views have improved as it meant the Council was heading in the right direction.

“But I am acutely aware Council still has a long way to go to improve its work outputs, financial stability and overall standing in the community,” Dr Harrison said.

“The survey results are heartening and I am really glad to see the community appreciates the work we have done so far. The Councillors, Council staff and I are committed to further improving the organisation’s performance on all levels and we’ll continue working hard on that as long as we need to.”

Dr Harrison said the Council’s score for overall performance had improved from 37% in 2018 to 49% this year, still below the state-wide average of 60%.

“These results are a step in the right direction but we are still under the median score for Victorian councils of the same size in most areas,” he said.

“The organisational changes that have taken place since the survey interviews were completed coupled with the 2019/2020 Budget will better focus our attention and resources on issues of great importance to the community such as local roads and advocacy.

“I would like to acknowledge the hard work of Council staff, which has contributed to this improvement.”

The annual state-wide community satisfaction survey is carried out by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning with at least 400 telephone interviews with randomly selected residents carried out across the municipality.

The survey rates Victorian councils on issues such as overall performance, community consultation and engagement, advocacy, customer service and overall direction.

Dr Harrison said Ararat’s best improvements came in the overall direction of the Council with 55% (a rise from 29% in 2018) and customer service at 69% (a rise from 56% in 2018).

A summary of Ararat Rural City Council’s 2019 Community Satisfaction Survey results

Topic

2019 result

2018 result

2019 state average

Overall council performance

49

37

60

Community consultation

49

41

56

Advocacy

50

44

54

Making community decisions

46

33

55

Sealed local roads

50

43

56

Customer service

69

56

71

Overall council direction

55

29

53