Community and Staff Survey

A project as important as Better Councils, Better Communities needs to be informed by comprehensive market research. It cannot operate on hunches and instinct.

In July 2014, the LGAQ commissioned a Council Perceptions market research project with the Queensland community, elected members and council staff.

Results from the market research provide an insight into community and council staff views on the role and importance of councils and will guide the development of the Better Councils, Better Communities productivity and performance project.

The most significant finding from the survey was that a majority of Queenslanders say they want better value for money from their councils and to see how their council’s financial management compares to other councils.

Note: the statistics presented below are overall (state-wide) results.

The following is a video snapshot from around the state… telling what Queenslanders think about their councils.

View on YouTube

Importance of Local Government

63% of community respondents identify council as an essential layer of government.

56% of community respondents say their local council is a provider of vital services every day of the year.

Regional identity and the role of government

About two thirds of community respondents believe their local region has a strong identity and 60% agree the local council plays an important role in their region’s identify.

So far, so good.

What is very significant is that 66% of community respondents say they would like to see their council’s financial management compared to other similar councils, and 73% of staff and elected members surveyed say they want to see how their council’s financial management compares to similar councils.

Trust in Local Government

But, worryingly, only 37% of community respondents trust their council to do the best for the community.

Engagement, visibility and vision

Only 49% of community respondents believe their council has a clear vision for the community.

Just 40% of community respondents agree council engages them on important matters, and only 44% say that council’s work is visible.

When asked if their council’s visibility was better than two to three years ago, only 25% of community respondents said yes. 75% said no, did not know or were neutral.

These results are reinforced by 73% of community respondents saying they had neither seen nor heard, or did not know if they had seen or heard, about recent council activities/initiatives.

Value for money, productivity, efficiency and benchmarking

Only 28% of community respondents agree their council provides value for money. A very significant 72% do not agree or hold no opinion.

Only 35% of local government staff think their council provides value for money.

Note: Two Colmar Brunton surveys were conducted, one for community members (1021 respondents) and one for council staff (403 respondents). For both surveys, the report presented overall (state-wide) results, as well as results segmented by four council types: coastal, south east Queensland, resources, and rural/remote.

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