Becoming a council that operates in a transparent manner is well beyond simply livestreaming council chamber debates and decision-making.

The fact of the matter is that for each and every decision made significant planning, work and recommendations are developed over months and sometimes years.

In leading the way in transparency we need to search for a best practice model and collaborate with our community to develop a council that is inclusive and truly transparent.

For incoming councillors this means understanding the true role of community engagement and its ability to shape the future while also reducing scope creep, costs and issues that impact on the successful operations of council.

Community or stakeholder engagement is not a fluffy waste of time. It is a risk management tool that, when used properly, helps us to truly capitalise on opportunity and build decisions where the community feels and is empowered and a key part of the solution.

Councils traditionally use the IAP2 model of community engagement – however I believe this model is outdated. I have consistently seen this model manipulated in government to justify an “inform” approach to community engagement rather than a “consult”. I would like to see our council move towards a hybrid model of community engagement that also capitalises on co-design and approaches implemented by engagement specialists and leaders such as Twyfords and Second Road.

If elected, I will be advocating for a new model of true engagement being designed in collaboration with the community and this model integrated with the way our council does business on a day to day basis.

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