Results from the Geelong Community Survey show that most responders don’t consider the municipality’s Clever and Creative Vision effectively addressed since it was produced in 2016-2017.
The results show general dissatisfaction in the progress of many aspects of the Vision.
In the areas of environment, transport and infrastructure and waste community sentiment is clearly negative.
Across the areas of environment, transport and infrastructure, and waste, community sentiment was clearly negative with two thirds − 67% averaged − of respondents unhappy with the Council’s progress. This is illustrated by:
- 83% of respondents are concerned or very concerned about climate change predictions for our region, and about the predicted impacts for our region − flooding due to sea-levels, reduced rainfall, increased risk of bushfire and extreme weather.
- Just one in ten people (9%) feel that the City of Greater Geelong is addressing Climate Change effectively at the local level with 81% stating that the City of Greater Geelong should do more to help households, businesses and our region to reduce carbon emissions.
- Around 7 out of 10 responders (72%) are concerned about the environment’s capacity to cope with current population growth and
- 67% of respondents don’t believe local services and infrastructure are coping with the population growth rate.
- 66% believe public transport needs improvements within and beyond Geelong and 78% feel that walking and cycling − active transport − needs to be improved around Geelong and the Bellarine.
Across other areas identified in the Clever and Creative vision report, such as culture, lifestyle, business and Council governance, approximately half of residents said that they didn’t know if progress had occurred.
Of the nine community aspirations outlined in the Clever and Creative Vision, respondents ranked the following three most highly:
- ‘Sustainable development that supports population growth and protects the natural environment’
- ‘An inclusive, diverse, healthy and socially connected community’
- ‘Development and implementation of sustainable solutions’
Overall, survey results strongly indicate that candidates in the upcoming local government elections need to comprehensively address issues relating to environment, transport, infrastructure and waste − both in their election platforms and if elected in the next Council Plan − and also continue to work on the other areas in the Vision.
These issues of greatest community concern need addressing, as there is widespread dissatisfaction with progress and decisions being made by Council in these areas.
In areas such as culture, lifestyle, business and Council governance, 50% of residents have reported that they don’t know if progress is being made on the Clever and Creative Vision in these areas.
Don’t know responses were registered for all questions. Most Don’t know commenters implied a lack of available information to enable making a judgement.
Council needs to find more opportunities to actively engage with all communities about the Clever and Creative Vision and effectively publicise progress to residents in the municipality with transparent and easily accessible information.