The Community Summit
The City of Greater Geraldton, like other local governments in Western Australia, is facing the difficult challenge of achieving financial sustainability in an environment of reduced funding, escalating costs and increasing community expectation. Within this environment, the City of Greater Geraldton is challenged with balancing the needs and aspirations of a growing community, with community ability and willingness to pay.
The City’s 2014-15 budget forecast a net operating loss from ordinary activities of $6.85m. Based on the City’s current adopted Long Term Financial Plan, which incorporates an annual rate revenue rise of 5.2% (excluding growth factor), Council does not expect to be in a break-even position until 2021-22. The City of Greater Geraldton’s financial position means that many community needs and aspirations are unlikely to be delivered within the short term and that some very difficult choices, about which services can be continued and which must be discontinued or reduced, must be made.
Changes in the external environment that have impacted upon the City’s budget have necessitated a further review with a focus on the range of non-mandatory services provided by the City. These changes include;
- Significant reductions in State and Federal Government funding;
- Escalating costs, particularly utility costs; and
- A large backlog of essential infrastructure renewal.
Additionally, the City recognises the need to ensure rates rises are kept at manageable levels while still providing services that best align with community priorities. Therefore, the City needed to engage further with the community to better understand community prioritisation of the non-mandatory services it delivers. The Community Summit process was developed to provide an opportunity for the community to have informed and considered input thereby ensuring services are aligned with community need, aspiration and importantly, community willingness and capacity to pay.
Read the Community Summit Report - Outcomes and Recommendations
View the video inviting the community to have their say on services here
Individual report attachments below.
Attachment 1 - Random Sampling Methodology Report
Attachment 2 - March 4 Workshop Agenda
Attachment 3 - Community Criteria for Assessing Services
Attachment 4 - The difference between mandatory and non-mandatory services
Attachment 5 - Revised Community Assessment Criteria
Attachment 6 - Services Description Booklet
Attachment 7 - CEO Responses to Questions
Attachment 8 - Preliminary List of Prioritised Services
Attachment 9 - Recommendations and Voting Results
Attachment 10 - One Minute Participant Recommendations
Attachment 11 - Pre and Post Workshop Survey Results