COMMUNITY complaints about local council spending are nothing new, but inviting residents to have a say in Budget planning marks a new approach for the Borough of Queenscliffe.
Residents were invited to take part in an online survey, rating the current spending levels and suggesting areas the Borough should be focusing on in the future.
Pupils from St Aloysius Primary School were also given a voice, aimed at encouraging greater engagement from young people in the planning process.
Borough chief executive officer Martin Gill said the survey process re-affirmed the councils commitment to community consultation.
We asked our residents to help us shape next years Council budget, and the quality of responses reaffirmed the value in our increased commitment to community consultation.
The average participant took more than 15 minutes to complete the questionnaire, which shows how considered and thoughtful our Borough residents were in providing their feedback.
The survey results showed while there was community satisfaction with council efforts in assets, public spaces and facilities, the view was spending could be reduced in planning, particularly when it comes to engaging consultants.
Residents were also keen to see any savings from cuts in spending re-invested in priority areas, with many calling for improved and upgraded footpaths.
Other target areas included upgrades to family-oriented areas such as a dedicated Under-5s areas in the library, as well as active outdoor facilities including a flying fox and trampoline park suggested by the St Aloysius pupils.
Environmental issues were also popular, with calls for seaweed composting, fishing line disposal bins, tree planting and recycling programs to receive greater attention in the
When it came to reductions, responses were just as clear-cut, including focusing on better planning, with less spent on outside consultants, while requesting greater heritage protection, with students asking for mandatory roof-mounted solar panels on all new buildings.
While the impact of the survey will not be seen until the new budget is released, survey results were shared with individual program leaders to give staff a better understanding of community priorities.