Community satisfaction with shire performance slips but still above state average

July 11, 2024 BY

Community perceptions of the Surf Coast Shire council's performance and direction have declined slightly since last year, however improvements have been recorded in its waste management and road maintenance. Photo: SURF COAST SHIRE

COMMUNITY perception of the Surf Coast Shire’s performance has shown a small decline since last year but remains higher than other councils across the state.

The data, captured in this year’s Local Government Community Satisfaction Survey (CSS), places the council’s overall performance index score at 57, out of a possible score of 100, down from last year’s rating of 58.

The rating is among the council’s equal lowest recorded over the past decade.

Despite the downward trend, the shire continues to outperform other councils on performance, scoring significantly higher than the average rating of 50 for other large rural councils, and 54 for councils statewide.

Held annually, the CSS is co-ordinated by the Department of Government Services and provides insights into community views on a variety of areas including customer service, waste management, community consultation and engagement, and council direction.

Across all survey categories, the shire continues to score higher than other large rural councils, but community views on the shire’s overall direction also continued to trend downwards, dropping slightly to 45, down from 46 last year – the shire’s lowest score recorded in the category over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the council’s waste management and maintenance of both sealed and unsealed roads saw improvements.

Sealed road maintenance received a score of 57, up from 56, while unsealed road maintenance was rated at 48, up from 46.

Cr Gary Allen said the annual survey provided valuable insight, and thanked the community for sharing their input.

“We are pleased our ratings continue to be higher than other councils across the board and survey responses have highlighted areas with room for improvement,” he said.

“Even though maintenance of unsealed roads ranked two points higher this year, it clearly remains an area our community is looking for improvement.

“We look forward to community input from our recent extensive unsealed roads review helping to guide our work in this area into the future.

“As always, doing more in one area requires decisions on how to deliver it, whether that be reducing something else we are doing, or looking for new revenue.”

Waste management earned the council its highest satisfaction index score on this year’s CSS, scoring at 73 up from 70.

Cr Allen said the shire was pleased to see its waste management score increase this year.

“Knowing how passionate and aware our community is about our environment, waste reduction and recycling, the endorsement from community means a great deal,” he said.

The shire’s results across the survey’s remaining categories – value for money (51), customer service (71) and consultation and engagement (52) – are unchanged since last year.

Surf Coast Times – Free local news in your inbox

Breaking news, community, lifestyle, real estate, and sport.