Know Your Council results released

Issued Friday 1 December 2017

The state-wide Know Your Council results have been released today, showcasing the City of Casey’s many improvements and highlights across key services for 2016/17.

Published by Local Government Victoria each year, the data details Council’s performance across 59 indicators in 11 core service areas and compares the results with all Victorian councils and similar councils.

The 2016/17 information shows that Casey made strong improvements across a range of areas and that Councils delivers many high-quality and cost-effective services. Council’s performance highlights include:

  • Council provides one of the most reliable and low-cost waste collection services in the state and diverts more than 52% of all rubbish from landfill.
  • Council is a top performer when it comes to food safety, being quick to action food complaints and stringent in completing food safety assessments.
  • Council made just 2.6% of decisions in closed Council, down from 23% and 37% in previous years, demonstrating Councils commitment and emphasis on being more transparent.
  • Council maintains sealed local roads well, resulting in a lower rate of requests from residents regarding roads and high community satisfaction in comparison to the state average.
  • Council achieved a significant increase in participation in Maternal and Child Health services by Aboriginal children after improving accessibility to the service.

City of Casey Mayor Cr Geoff Ablett said the snapshot of Council’s performance showed we’re delivering for our community and improving our services.

“Our waste collection, food safety and road management services are among the best in the state and we’ve improved across many areas, from governance to enhancing our aquatic and library facilities,” Cr Ablett said.

“We acknowledge there are also areas which have room for improvement. The increasingly complex state planning system has meant it can take longer to complete a planning application.

“We’ll continue to review our planning resources and processes to help our planners reach quicker outcomes however, it is worth noting Casey has among the fewest number of VCAT appeals in Victoria, indicating we’re getting these difficult and complex decisions right.

“We’ve taken a proactive approach to resolve planning decisions with applicants to avoid them progressing to VCAT where possible, providing a better customer outcome and experience with Council, but this can impact on the time it takes to come to a decision.

“Casey continues to adopt a collaborative approach with applicants to settle disputes and has reduced the number of VCAT appeals by 35% from last year, despite significant increases in the number of applications.

“Council has already implemented a number of digital and continuous improvement initiatives to improve the planning process. We’ll continue to explore ways to make further efficiencies, including reviewing resource levels and processes, and also continue to advocate to the State Government to reduce the planning complexity.”

Cr Ablett said it’s positive to see significant development in areas Council set out to improve.

“Most notably, we’ve greatly improved our transparency by making more decisions in open Council,” he said.

“The results also show sound financial management despite the pressure of rate capping, and that Casey has lower rates than similar, large and growing municipalities like ours.

“Casey welcomes open and transparent reporting like the Know Your Council data, and we will use this as an opportunity to continue to identify the areas we can improve and deliver better services for our residents and on our vision to create Australia’s most liveable city,” Cr Ablett concluded.

To view Council’s results, visit the Know Your Council website.

Council’s Know Your Council highlights:

Animal management

Due to the effective management of Council’s Animal Management Program, Casey had a lower number of dog attacks in 2016/17 and all our prosecutions were successful.

Aquatic facilities

Casey conducts more health inspections of aquatic facilities than the average and has strong visitor numbers.

Food safety

Casey is out performing councils on average when it comes to food safety. We’re quick to action food complaints, undertake required food safety assessments and followed up all notifications of non-compliance as required by legislation, achieving 100% in this field for the third year in a row.

Governance

Council reduced its decisions made at closed council meetings by more than 20%, had improved Councillor attendance at meetings and better community satisfaction with decisions than other councils on average.

Libraries

Casey recorded better utilisation of resources and less cost per visit compared than the state average and the standard of our library resources has improved on last year. These are expected to continue to improve with the opening of the new, modern Bunjil Place Library.

Maternal and Child Health

Participation in MCH services by Aboriginal children increased by 14% from last year. Council has been working to better engage with this community and improved accessibility to the service through a dedicated MCH nurse able to provide home visiting to Aboriginal families.

Roads

Council maintains sealed local roads well, resulting in a lower rate of requests from residents regarding roads and high community satisfaction in comparison to all councils on average.

Statutory planning

Through a collaborative approach with applicants to settle disputes, Council reduced the number of VCAT appeals by 35% from last year, despite significant increases in the number of applications.

Waste collection

Council actions more bin collections than all councils on average whilst having a lower rate of missed bins, lower cost service and high rate of recycling.

Financial performance

Council’s rates are lower than similar, large and growing councils, as are our expenses per property assessment.