Why Local Government Matters

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A survey conducted by local government experts from the University of Technology Sydney is helping council to deliver on the community’s vision of why local government matters.

Mayor, Cr Dominic King, said “the survey produced factual data which identified our community draws a strong association between the environment around us, our quality of life and what makes this place unique to live in. “The survey also confirmed that our community highly values Council’s parks, gardens, health and environmental functions, so we’ll use the survey’s findings to guide and improve future decisions about these valuable services.”


Why Local Government Matters Report – Key Findings

  • Bellingen shire residents are more likely to rate features relating to the area’s sustainability as extremely or very important, including the availability of recreation areas, levels of water, air and noise pollution, and the availability of local shops and locally grown food. They are also more likely to rate the level of community diversity, creativity and cohesion as very or extremely important, as well as being close to friends and family. In contrast, Bellingen residents are not as concerned about the quality of roads and bridges, availability of convenient transport options, and good home and aged care.
  • Bellingen shire residents are clearly more concerned about the environment than their regional neighbours. They are also more concerned about the impact of environmental problems on their own quality of life, physical health and emotional wellbeing, as well as other community members.
  • Bellingen shire residents are more likely to rate as extremely or very important those services and functions that contribute strongly to the environmental health of the area and their quality of life. These include emergency and disaster management, parks and gardens, health and environmental management, and land use planning and development applications. They are less likely to rate economic development, planning for the future, and supporting local business as extremely or very important services.
  • Residents of larger coastal centres are more likely to very specific features as extremely or very important parts of the place where they live. These include availability of public services, recreation areas, tourism activities, a safe public domain, positive economic outlook, good phone and internet connections, local shops, convenient transport options and local job opportunities. This indicates the residents of these areas are more concerned about what the place has to offer them rather than more intrinsic qualities such as community cohesion
  • In contrast, residents of outlying areas and smaller towns are less likely to identify specific items as extremely or very important features of the place where they live. However, as previously noted, these residents appear have a stronger place attachment which indicates the intrinsic qualities of the place where they live, rather than what it offers, are more important to them
  • Bellingen shire residents are more concerned about impacts from more intense wetter conditions, such as flooding and property damage from severe storms and rain events, as well as rising sea levels. This potentially reflects the community’s history of flooding.
  • Bellingen locals along with residents in outlying areas and smaller towns are least confident in the capacity of different parts of government to work together effectively to help the community get back to normal after a natural disaster, and in the resilience of the region’s agriculture and primary producers. In contrast, residents in larger coastal centres are more confident.
  • Bellingen residents are more likely to favour direct government service delivery, a larger role for government in delivering essential services and infrastructure, and greater community participation in decision-making. They are particularly sceptical of market based service delivery models.

You can also read the story covered by The Bellingen Courier here

A survey conducted by local government experts from the University of Technology Sydney is helping council to deliver on the community’s vision of why local government matters.

Mayor, Cr Dominic King, said “the survey produced factual data which identified our community draws a strong association between the environment around us, our quality of life and what makes this place unique to live in. “The survey also confirmed that our community highly values Council’s parks, gardens, health and environmental functions, so we’ll use the survey’s findings to guide and improve future decisions about these valuable services.”


Why Local Government Matters Report – Key Findings

  • Bellingen shire residents are more likely to rate features relating to the area’s sustainability as extremely or very important, including the availability of recreation areas, levels of water, air and noise pollution, and the availability of local shops and locally grown food. They are also more likely to rate the level of community diversity, creativity and cohesion as very or extremely important, as well as being close to friends and family. In contrast, Bellingen residents are not as concerned about the quality of roads and bridges, availability of convenient transport options, and good home and aged care.
  • Bellingen shire residents are clearly more concerned about the environment than their regional neighbours. They are also more concerned about the impact of environmental problems on their own quality of life, physical health and emotional wellbeing, as well as other community members.
  • Bellingen shire residents are more likely to rate as extremely or very important those services and functions that contribute strongly to the environmental health of the area and their quality of life. These include emergency and disaster management, parks and gardens, health and environmental management, and land use planning and development applications. They are less likely to rate economic development, planning for the future, and supporting local business as extremely or very important services.
  • Residents of larger coastal centres are more likely to very specific features as extremely or very important parts of the place where they live. These include availability of public services, recreation areas, tourism activities, a safe public domain, positive economic outlook, good phone and internet connections, local shops, convenient transport options and local job opportunities. This indicates the residents of these areas are more concerned about what the place has to offer them rather than more intrinsic qualities such as community cohesion
  • In contrast, residents of outlying areas and smaller towns are less likely to identify specific items as extremely or very important features of the place where they live. However, as previously noted, these residents appear have a stronger place attachment which indicates the intrinsic qualities of the place where they live, rather than what it offers, are more important to them
  • Bellingen shire residents are more concerned about impacts from more intense wetter conditions, such as flooding and property damage from severe storms and rain events, as well as rising sea levels. This potentially reflects the community’s history of flooding.
  • Bellingen locals along with residents in outlying areas and smaller towns are least confident in the capacity of different parts of government to work together effectively to help the community get back to normal after a natural disaster, and in the resilience of the region’s agriculture and primary producers. In contrast, residents in larger coastal centres are more confident.
  • Bellingen residents are more likely to favour direct government service delivery, a larger role for government in delivering essential services and infrastructure, and greater community participation in decision-making. They are particularly sceptical of market based service delivery models.

You can also read the story covered by The Bellingen Courier here