Why is Council reviewing this Policy?

    It is appropriate for Councils to reconsider their policies periodically to ensure that they remain relevant and helpful for the purposes of guiding decision making.  Both the Local Preference Policy and the Procurement Policy are due for review.

    Why is Council using a Citizens' Panel format to review this Policy?

    Council recognises the importance of involving the broader community in decision making processes, and a Citizens' Panel format has been used successfully by other councils to guide effective and representative decision making.

    Why are interest persons being asked to register on Create?

    The Citizens' Panel method being used requires that the composition be broadly representative of the wider community.  To achieve this we need to make sure that the members have similar geographical, age and other demographics as the rest of the shire.  While Council seeks to respect users right to privacy by not requesting names on Create, the registration process asks some basic demographic questions which will allow Council to ensure that the Citizens' Panel meets demographic requirements.

    What is a citizens panel?

    A Citizen Panel is a participatory tool used to involve citizens regarding issues of local or national concern. They can be created by a government body or by a community organization, and are particularly useful for issues where there is a desire for a consensus but where detailed information needs to be weighed and evaluated. Much like a jury in a legal case, a Citizens Panel will receive background information about the issue, hear expert witnesses, and then make a considered "judgment". Used effectively, a Citizens Panel can have a direct impact on decision-making by contributing a well-informed, common-ground solution to a complex and often controversial public issue.