Casey’s People’s Panel has spoken!

Issued Wednesday 19 April 2017

Casey People’s Panel participant Shona Batch presents the group’s recommendations to Council.

Representatives of Casey’s first ever People’s Panel have delivered the group’s 24 recommendations to the City of Casey following four weeks of intense deliberation.

The recommendations span every aspect of Council from finding ways to deliver more efficient and effective services to improving transparency.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Sam Aziz said the success of the Casey People’s Panel had exceeded everyone’s expectations.

“It’s incredible what we can achieve as a community when we sit down in the spirit of cooperation and work together to try and tackle the many challenges we face as a community,” Cr Aziz said.

He said the 54 panel members have come up with outstanding recommendations which Council will now consider and respond to at a Special Council Meeting on Tuesday 9 May 2017.

“The thoughtful deliberations of the panel have validated much of the work Council has done to better respond to our residents’ needs and we are already working to incorporate them into our Draft 2017-21 Council Plan.”

Council has already begun implementing some of the recommendations, including live streaming on Facebook the tabling of recommendations at last night’s Council meeting – in line with the People’s Panels direction to improve transparency.

Panel member Carol Sugirth said the experience had changed her view of what Council does.

“The only contact I had with Council was just paying rates so when I came to the meetings I found out more about what Council did, what the problems are and that they value the feedback of the community,” Mrs Sugirth said.

“We felt that we were heard and we hope that these recommendations will be implemented in the future.”

Panel members were drawn from across the municipality and were matched against Census data to reflect age, gender and ethnicity of Casey’s population.

Children’s and youth panels were also consulted. Meeting four times in March, the People’s Panel were given a crash course on Council operations and heard from a panel of experts before deliberating on the big challenge Council faces – how to address the long-term challenge of funding what Council believes it should be delivering to fulfil the community’s vision and what it can afford to deliver.

Cr Aziz said the Panel’s recommendations meant the formulation of the Draft 2017-21 Council Plan would be focussed on community priorities like never before.

“Everything from the Budget to our capital works priorities will be driven by the priorities outlined by the panel,” the Mayor said.

The People’s Panel follows the hugely successful Casey Next community engagement project which sought residents’ hopes, aspirations and priorities for the long-term Council Vision for the future.

The Casey People’s Panel deliberated over four weeks on the challenges Council faces.