State-wide Community Satisfaction Survey results released earlier this week show that resident perceptions of services provided by Hepburn Shire results have improved in a number of areas but are still well below par compared with averages for Victoria and for small rural councils in the state.

On seven of the 17 measures evaluated, Council performance was rated on par with state-wide and small rural group averages. On most other areas however, Council performance was rated significantly lower than both group averages.

Performance perceptions on most service areas evaluated remained stable or improved significantly compared to 2023 results. However, in the two service areas which rated lowest of the 17 areas assessed, planning and building permits and sealed local roads, perceptions declined significantly.

Council’s overall performance (49) rated statistically significantly lower than both the Small Rural group of Victorian councils (53) and the State-wide average of all councils (54).

Council’s top performing areas were waste management, tourism development, appearance of public areas and recreational facilities although the latter two rated significantly lower than average ratings for small rural shires.

Council’s lowest performing areas were sealed local roads, planning and building permits and slashing and weed control. All of these were significantly below the small rural council average.

One in five residents (21%) rated the value for money they receive from Council in infrastructure and services as ‘very good’ or ‘good’. Almost twice as many rated Council as ‘very poor’ or ‘poor’ (39%). A further 35% rate Council as ‘average’ in providing value for money.

Resident perceptions of Hepburn Shire performance on core areas over the past ten years. (Source: JWS Research)

The state government commissions the annual survey which is administered by JWS Research.  The survey is conducted quarterly in Hepburn Shire with a total sample of 400 residents. The sample demographics included 51% females and 47% aged 65 years or greater which reflects the demographics of the shire.

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said it was pleasing to see improvements in many of the key metrics.

“We recognise Council has lots more to do to improve its service delivery, but seeing this upward trend in many service areas is a further step in the right direction.”

“Of the 17 service areas surveyed, Council recorded improved results in 12 areas compared to the last survey and the same result in one area.  There was a decline in satisfaction in four service areas,” he said.

“Thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. The Community Satisfaction Survey is one of many tools that we use to inform future planning and programs of work and supports continuous improvement in service delivery,” said Cr Hood.

The full survey results of the 2024 Community Satisfaction Survey can be read at Council performance.

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