Archive:   Consultation Strategy

Last Updated  6/2/15



 Council's Less-Not-More-For-Community Consultation Framework Sails Through Council With Minor Change

(24/12/14 - C)   Council will now re-think charging residents to obtain copies of documents it puts out for exhibition/comment   Red Alerts

At last Wednesday's Council meeting (17th) Council predictably adopted a Consultation Framework that makes it easier for Council to pick and choose who, how and if it consults.  A summary of submissions received was not provided in either the officer's report to Council or its attachments. 


MRRA Says: 

The change, to rethink charging residents for copies of the documents they are to comment on, was timely.  Someone in the gallery asked a question about this issue.  Council had told them it would cost $46 for a copy of the Mt. Macedon Village Centre Study (produced by Council in A3 size) when that document was on exhibition. 


It's a bit rough (is it consultation?) when residents have to pay (a lot) to see something they are supposedly invited to comment on, because it has been printed at a paper size most people can't print.  And rude too, when you think of the thousands of dollars frittered away on pet projects with ephemeral if any benefits, like Council's sister city relationship with Tokai. 


Council's Less-For-Community Consultation Framework Up for Decision Wednesday 17th December

(16/12/14 - C)  It's less about what consultation the community can count on, more about a Council 'memo-to-self'  (MRRA Submission) 

The Consultation Framework Council recently exhibited will be adopted with some minor amendments at tomorrow night's Council meeting.  Council can then tick the 'do you have a Consultation Framework?' box on State government assessments.  Note: There isn't a State government question asking 'do you use it?.


MRRA Says: 

The Association put in a submission but had zero expectations (as did most residents in the Shire) of anything good coming from it.  This is another document that has been morphed into what suits Council, not what suits the community.  It's probably an irrelevant document anyway because as everyone knows Council historically ignores its Consultation Framework, and just makes up its own mind who, how or whether it will consult.  And this document makes it easier for Council to do that, while still pretending it's consultation.  If Council doesn't think YOU are a stakeholder, you won't get a look in.


On Guard: Council's "Review" Of Its Infrequently-Used And Poorly-Implemented Community Consultation Framework Out For Exhibition

(10/11/14 - C)  First thing to check of course is if Council can even spell 'consult' correctly, 'cos it sure don't know how to do it.  Amid the bells and whistles approach, beware attempts to weaken the existing consultation framework to match Council's appalling consultation practices...

Council's 'review' of how it consults the community is out on exhibition and open to comments until December 5.  Council's focus seems to be mainly on how it can use internet and social media technology.  See information from Council's website and links to documents here.    See current Community Consultation Framework here


MRRA Says:


The blurt on Council's website says:  "Council needs to ensure our practices are relevant and appropriate for the wide range of issues we consult about, and for the people we need to consult."


What a long nose Council must have!   This Council's inability to understand that consultation is about actively engaging and actively letting people know, asking them what they think, and listening, is legendary.  Who can forget Council voting to exclude community consultation on the massive Hanging Rock development (Consultation Framework said 'yes', Council said 'no') .  Council also tends to be extremely selective about who it consults.  Council chooses who are 'stakeholders', consults them then says 'job done' - the rest of us often aren't even aware of what's going on (Council is doing it again right now with its Rural Living Strategy).


There is often wrong information, or no information, or short, short consultation times, or no consultation at all.  Exhibited documents that are different to those approved by Council, or the wrong documents, or several versions of the same document, or no documents, or documents people can't read or access.  There aren't many meetings or information sessions - you know, attempts to explain and engage with the community - and some of those are held even before they are advertised.  Media releases and Council's website are known to give out incorrect information, and if you miss the sole media release Council usually issues,  you may never know anything about it until it's done.   The list of consultation offences is extensive, and those dastardly results for community engagement in the Community Satisfaction Surveys reflect a community increasingly peed-off with its Council.  Have we missed anything?  Tell us on


So, what are Council's four key proposed "improvements" in its new Framework?   Three relate to using more technology, and the other to better staff training.   These could indeed be improvements, but they won't solve the serious problem of a Council that picks and chooses who and what and when and where and for how long it consults, ignores its Consultation Framework, consults inadequately or misleadingly, or doesn't consult at all.


As we said above, beware attempts to produce a new Consultation Framework that merely formalises Council's current shoddy practices.


Residents Asked To Comment On How Council Consults The Community

(29/6/10 - C)  Framework out for inspection, comments sought by July 18 


Here's what Council's website says:


"We are revising our processes to improve the way we consult with you.


Our consultations relate to all sorts of matters, including the development of services and facilities, land use planning and community-based projects, protecting and improving the natural environment, business development, tourism, streetscapes, and more.


We are particularly interested to hear how you would prefer to be consulted, and how you would like to find out about consultation opportunities.


You can provide your views by completing the survey below, or if you would like to be added to our mail list for this consultation review,  please email or phone Ros Handley on 5422 0310.


Link to Survey


Link to Draft Consultation Framework


If these links don't work go to Council's website and go to Current projects/documents for your comment, and click on Consultation Review. "