2021 STRATEGIC COMMUNITY PLAN REVIEW

The Shire of Wongan-Ballidu is undertaking a major review of its Strategic Community Plan. The engagement process ‘Pathways 2031’ was developed to provide the community with a diverse range of engagement options. Our latest report represents the midpoint of this process and the transition from broad to more detailed engagement to support and refine the Shire’s understanding of community aspirations and priorities and to build a Strategic Community Plan that delivers an alignment between these aspirations and the Shire’s capacity.

Our latest report is the synthesis of 61 survey responses (online/print), one community workshop in Wongan Hills with 38 people, one community workshop in Ballidu with nine people, a workshop for elected members and a workshop for 24 shire staff. In addition to these engagement opportunities a conversation cafe kit was provided to elected members and staff who were then encouraged to connect with a few people they knew well and have a meaningful conversation. The kit was provided and a short training meeting with three key staff was provided to support them to lead others to participate. Two formal responses from this process have also been included in the report. 

This page provides a summary of the findings identified in our latest report. To view the latest report on the Strategic Community Plan, please click here.

The Shire of Wongan-Ballidu is a connected community with a strong sense of pride for the strengths of their Town. The most common themes emerging from the data collected was that the Town has a strong sense of a small community, people enjoy the relaxed rural and peaceful lifestyle, the low cost of living and a high level of safety.

Males with ten who did not provide a gender identification. The majority of respondents were between 44 and 60 years of age. The community workshops however had a greater age range of participants with two young people accompanying parents, some in their early 20s and a range of people between 30 and 70 years.

The survey showed 62% support for the current vision being “A caring and supportive community driving sustainability of agriculture, services and the environment". The survey identified some minor changes to include some key words such as ‘vibrant, thriving and progressive’. The workshop vision feedback followed a similar trend, again supporting the same words, ‘vibrant, thriving and progressive’.

The following is a summary of the key themes that emerged from the feedback forms across stakeholder perspectives:

Community:

Overall, the community agreed that the Shire is a healthy, supportive and safe community with most themes reporting over 60-70% satisfaction rate. There was a high level of agreement for most the Shire’s community objectives; however, there were mixed opinions on whether providing aged care and disability services contributed to a sense of community.

 Interestingly, the community reported a desire for more social recreation; however, this was rated low with only 30% agreeing that it contributed to a sense of community. This could be explored further in the Summit to understand why in particular and where effort from the Shire could be directed.

Environment:

Overall, the community agreed that the Shire’s natural assets are enhanced and protected, and that the Shire’s objectives surrounding the environment are relevant to conservation with 70% of survey participants agreeing with most questions.

Economy:

Overall, the community had mixed views about whether the Shire has a strong and sustainable local economy; this supports a need to explore the economy in greater detail with the community. There was a strong general consensus that the Shire’s economic objectives are important and it is evident this is a focus for the future.

The majority of respondents (74%) agreed to some extent that a major agricultural hub is important for the Shire’s economy; this supports the current vision statement. There was a clear consensus that focussing, encouraging and creating opportunities to create local business or supporting existing business to offer competitive services/prices and opportunities that give locals greater employment opportunities needs to be a key strategic focus for the future.

Infrastructure:

There was a consensus that the Shire’s infrastructure objectives are important, though there was some disagreement surrounding the objective of whether current assets and infrastructure are meeting current and future needs.

When asked whether the Shire infrastructure and built environment supported the growth of the community and economy only 52% of people agreed to some extent with the statement, an area for exploration in further detail.

Advocacy and Leadership:

Overall, there was a general consensus for the three objectives surrounding Governance in the Shire. However, there were mixed opinions about whether the Shire exemplifies good governance, leadership and advocacy with only 47% of the community in agreeance.

Common areas for improvement from participants were communication from the Shire council (i.e., updating website information, transparency about current issues, responding to emails/calls from community members), representation (local council members and the friendliness of council staff and wages that reflected the salary of council staff.

The survey results overall support a new Strategic Community Plan that continues to focus on the current key themes with work to achieve in the deliverables under the objective.

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