Trending up: The Golden Plains Shire community satisfaction survey saw a two-point increase in consultation and engagement, which includes the municipality’s listening post program. Photo: SUPPLIED

And the survey says… not much changed

June 29, 2020 BY

RESULTS from Golden Plains Shire’s annual community satisfaction survey are in and they reveal perceptions on how Golden Plains is run haven’t changed much from last year.

Four-hundred people were questioned during the process which saw the municipality’s overall performance rating remain at 49 out of 100.

Mayor Cr Owen Sharkey described the results as “really disappointing.”

“Given the amount of effort that I know that goes on behind the scenes it’s really disappointing,” he said.

Areas of year on year improvement included a two-point rise in consultation and engagement, up to 49, and lobbying, up one by one to 48.

Overall council direction slipped by a point from 46 to 45 and the biggest satisfaction hit came on sealed roads, dropping five points to 39.

Other measures were stable in 2020 with customer service holding at 63 out of 100, unsealed roads at 36 and community decisions at 47.

“On the roads we’ve gone down four or five points, but we’ve done more on roads in this one year than what we have collectively for the last number of years,” Cr Shakey said.

“We’ve allocated additional funds into that and we’ve brought in the roads charter and then when the public are asked how the roads are, we were upbeat and positive because we know we have done everything possible within our budget.”

When compared to other like municipalities, identified as geographically large rural council, as well as all other local government areas across the state, Golden Plains was down by 10 to 15 points on the average.

Residents in the central survey area of the Shire, which stretches from Shelford to Rokewood and up to Napoleons, were consistently the least satisfied in all but two categories – overall council direction and customer service.

Respondents aged 18-34 rated the Shire highest in overall performance, overall council direction and community decisions.

Out of 400 people surveyed 63 per cent said that had had contact with the Shire in the last 12 months.

The community satisfaction survey is a State government mandated process that all municipalities must undertake yearly.

It’s conducted via phone by a private company and costs the Shire about $20,000.

“For me you come in on council and you look to this survey as a panicle or a really good reference point to see where you’re at,” Cr Sharkey said.

“Yet at the end of my four years now I look back and think, well if I could have back that $80,000, I think we could put that to better use.”