These resources aim to help councils effectively engage with their communities about higher cap applications.
Community engagement resources for councils
Our community engagement resources help councils better understand the community engagement expectations of the Fair Go Rates system, which outlines our role in council rate capping.
We do not recommend particular tools or methods of community engagement when councils are preparing a higher cap application. However, councils looking for additional support in this area can access resources including
- examples of community engagement tools and techniques
- a principles-based guide to deliberative engagement in small rural councils
- public participation material from our community engagement forum in Bendigo 2017
- documentation from our community engagement technical working group, which helps build community engagement skills within the local government sector.
General community engagement resources
We do not prescribe particular tools or methods of engagement, but we recognise that some councils may be looking for additional support. This toolkit is designed to provide support to councils who are considering applying for higher caps.
- Deliberation at scale: Principles and practical ideas for small rural councils
- Engagement case studies
- Engagement tips for councils
- Higher cap application engagement narrative map
- Key considerations when developing an engagement plan in the context of the Fair Go Rates system
- Examples of engagement tools and techniques
'Deliberation at scale' resources
In our discussions with small rural councils, we have heard that they have limited resources to undertake some of the more complex higher cap application community engagement processes undertaken by other councils in Victoria.
We are interested in supporting the sector and facilitating discussions about what might be useful for councils to better engage with their communities. In 2017, we commissioned KJA and the newDemocracy Foundation to develop resources on small-scale deliberative engagement:
- Deliberation at scale: Principles and practical ideas for small rural councils document
- Deliberation at scale video
Resources from our 2017 community engagement forum in Bendigo
We held a community engagement forum in Bendigo in October 2017. Council staff from across Victoria came together for some insightful presentations and discussions on community engagement in the context of the Fair Go Rates system and more broadly.
The forum aimed to ensure councils are better equipped to meet the community engagement expectations of our Fair Go Rates system regulatory framework, provide updates on community engagement at the state government level, and facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences.
Our Fair Go Rates System Community Engagement Forum: Summary Report provides an overview of the forum, a summary of the key themes that emerged throughout the day, and the content generated in group workshops and via Poll Everywhere.
Videos of the presentations are available on our YouTube channel.
- Fair Go Rates System Community Engagement Forum: Summary Report
- Council experiences applying for higher caps – presentation by Pyrenees Shire Council
- Council experiences applying for higher caps - presentation by Towong Shire Council
- Public Participation and Community Engagement: Local Government Sector – presentation by Victorian Auditor-General’s Office
- Developing the Victorian Government Public Engagement Framework – presentation by Department of Premier and Cabinet
- Public Participation for Policy in Places – presentation by Local Government Victoria
Community engagement technical workshop resources
We established an engagement technical working group in 2016 and it continues to meet regularly. We worked closely with this group to develop our community engagement toolkit and the forum. The group is made up of representatives from the sector and has helped us improve our guidance on how councils should prepare a higher cap application.
- Engagement Technical Working Group terms of reference (updated)
- Meeting 9 notes
- Meeting 8 notes
- Meeting 7 notes
- Meeting 6 notes
- Meeting 5 notes
- Meeting 4 notes
- Meeting 3 notes
- Meeting 2 notes
- Introductory meeting notes
These resources offer some useful starting points to those seeking further tools and guidance on engagement:
- The International Association for Public Participation has developed an extensive suite of resources for engagement. Its public participation spectrum is a widely-used engagement tool. On their website you will also find a searchable online resource bank which contains a wide range of resources including case studies, examples of engagement policies and plans (including from local government) and other information.
- The Victorian Auditor-General’s Office (VAGO) has developed a better practice guide called Public participation in government decision-making which provides a high-level framework for agencies across the public sector to use when deciding how best to involve the public in government decision-making as well as the principles and elements that VAGO will use to audit public participation exercises. It may be a useful guide for those seeking to develop an engagement plan or strategy.
- The Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA) has worked for many years to help local governments and their communities to work together and find ways to discuss, engage and resolve what is best for their neighbourhood. The association created a deliberative democracy hub, which provides a wealth of examples on deliberative approaches to community engagement. They provide case studies are provided to illustrate the different ways in which citizen juries have been run, as part of a broader community engagement strategy, on topics such as budgets, infrastructure and planning. The hub also contains resources on the rationale behind deliberative approaches and practical considerations such as timing, design, delivery and evaluation. Updates on training opportunities can also be found on the VLGA website.