This consultation is closed.

Learn more about this consultation.

Delivering value for rates and making sure our services meet the needs of our growing and diverse community is a priority for Council.

Like all councils in Victoria, Yarra is facing financial challenges including the rising cost of service provision and the impact of population growth. As part of our commitment to improving Council’s long-term financial health, we have developed a Financial Sustainability Strategy.

This Strategy identifies a review the service landscape as one of the 7 key strategies to achieve financial sustainability. The service planning and review principles will make sure our services are fit-for-purpose and are what our community wants.

The community's feedback on service priorities during the broad consultation in November 2023 was considered by a deliberative engagement community working group involving participants who represent Yarra’s diverse community.

We also conducted a social research piece which provided a baseline of community sentiment on service provisioning from a representative sample of the community. This approach ensured that missing voices from the community were captured.

These groups include young people, culturally and linguistically diverse communities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and community members who are renting.This was also presented to the community working group.

The expression of interest to be a part of this community working group was open until 9am Monday 22 January 2024.

The participants of the community working group were tasked with developing a draft set of community-supported principles. These principles will help guide Council’s service planning and review program into the future.

You can find out more about the process below.

These principles were considered and presented at the Council Meeting on Tuesday 9 April 2024. The principles below were adopted at the Council Meeting.

When planning and reviewing services, Council will:

  • Principle 1

    Actively include a range of First Nations’ voices and values in all decision making and placemaking to ensure ongoing community resilience.

  • Principle 2

    Be proactive in supporting communities and service providers to dramatically reduce waste and greenhouse emissions and prioritise regenerative systems to improve wellbeing and biodiversity and sustainable outcomes.

  • Principle 3

    Ensure Yarra’s artistic and cultural identity is valued and supported given their contribution to community resilience.

  • Principle 4

    Select service providers that are in line with Council’s sustainability policies and goals.

  • Principle 5

    Be adaptable and proactive by identifying, planning for, and implementing solutions that respond to dynamic factors and the current and future community needs.

  • Principle 6

    Deliver qualitative and quantitative evidence-based outcomes that include community input, which will be shared and communicated in an accessible way with the community.

  • Principle 7

    Use a comparative benefit analysis to measure value for money and the positive impact of service reform for the community.

  • Principle 8

    Actively engage the community, prioritising those most directly impacted and in line with Council’s Community Engagement Policy, where appropriate.

  • Principle 9

    Prioritise financial sustainability and appropriate resource allocation to enable us to respond to changing community needs, now and into the future.

  • Principle 10

    Prioritise service delivery models where it can maintain control of quality and influence the community benefits and outcomes.

  • Principle 11

    Prioritise social benefits, especially those that address the needs of vulnerable and diverse people, within financial means.

  • Principle 12

    Seek creative and innovative ways to continually improve and address challenges, including collaborating and partnering with other councils, other levels of government, not-for-profits, businesses, and volunteers.

  • Principle 13

    Ensure social impact and equity are accounted for when pricing a user-pays, market-comparable service.

  • Principle 14

    When making decisions, be considerate and evaluate the impact a change to one service will have on all other services.

  • Principle 15

    When considering a change to service that is also provided by an external market, evaluate the external market against Council’s Social Justice Charter principles, of Access, Equity, Rights and Participation.

  • Principle 16

    Assess and consider the accessibility of services within a user’s ability and means, both geographically and digitally, when proposing changes to service locations.

Deliberative stage of engagement

Last month we completed our final deliberative engagement session as part of stage 2 of this engagement leaving us with a robust set of draft principles to underpin future service planning and review.

Council identified in its 2023/24 Budget the need for a deliberative engagement process to develop guiding principles for service planning and review.

In a series of workshops, led by independent facilitators, the group developed a draft set of guiding principles that will help inform and guide Council’s future planning and review of community services.

These community-supported Service Planning and Review Principles are vital as our rapidly growing community evolves and we plan for the future. The principles will help ensure all services are relevant, financially sustainable and can meet future community needs.

Deliberative engagement is one of the deepest forms of community engagement and helps us understand our community’s diverse perspectives and lived experience.

The participants were selected as part of a thorough and independent selection process to ensure the diversity of the Yarra community was represented. We are so grateful to everyone who gave their time and effort to this process.

Expression Of Interest

EOI for our Community Working Group for Deliberative Engagement process

Yarra City Council called on members of its diverse community to submit an Expression of Interest to take part in a Community Working Group to help plan for and prioritise our services for the years ahead.

Like all councils in Victoria, Yarra is facing financial challenges including the rising cost of service provision and the impact of population growth. That’s why we wanted to know what our community thought about the services we provide to make sure we’re meeting the needs of our community and providing value for rates.

What was involved?

The Community Working Group came together over 4 workshops throughout February 2024 as part of our deliberatively engagement process, to recommend and identify principles which can be applied to future decision making around service provision and delivery. The workshops were facilitated by an independent facilitator.

Taking part involved attendance at the following sessions:

  • Induction: Thursday 8 February 2024, 5.30pm to 8.00pm
  • Session 1: Saturday 10 February 2024, 10.00am to 3.30pm
  • Session 2: Thursday 15 February 2024, 5.30pm to 8.00pm
  • Session 3: Saturday 24 February 2024, 10.00am to 3.30pm.

Participants received a small payment for taking part.

Our independent consultants randomly selected approximately 45 people who represent Yarra’s diverse community from the Expression of Interest. Expressions of Interest closed at 9.00am Monday 22 January 2024

Survey for broad community consultation