Citizens Jury reaches its verdict
The City of Greater Bendigo Citizens’ Jury has handed down its report after three months of deliberation.
The Jury made 44 recommendations across a range of policy areas such as arts, business, community, health, environment and efficiency.
- Continue present funding for the Bendigo Art Gallery and theatres
- Better market the arts success story to the community
- Encourage community gardens
- Pursue and implement ‘10 Minute Neighbourhoods’ concept
- Encourage energy efficient and sustainable house designs
- Continue the internal review process of all City departments
- Investigate selling, leasing or hiring council facilities and properties
How the Citizens' Jury was undertaken
The City of Greater Bendigo Citizens' Jury is an initiative to engage our community to help shape the Council's priorities for the future.
Not-for-profit research organisation the newDemocracy Foundation has been engaged to run a Citizens’ Jury process for the City of Greater Bendigo. The jury is convened and operated independent of Council. newDemocracy Foundation is a research foundation, not a consultancy. They are not a think tank and hold no policy views.
The randomly selected jury will seek to answer the question – What should Council spend our money on to shape the community’s future?
Council and newDemocracy sent invitations to 3,000 randomly selected Greater Bendigo addresses inviting participation in the jury. Based on those who register their interest, newDemocracy conducted a second random draw to convene a jury of around 24 people to reflect the population of the City of Greater Bendigo.
How the Citizens' Jury works
The jury meet six times over coming months to provide Council with a considered consensus view about the range and level of services across all of Greater Bendigo.
The Jury’s recommendations will be provided to Council and published later this year, with a detailed written response provided by Council in March 2017.
Frequently asked questions
What is a Citizens' Jury?
A Citizens’ Jury is a group of people who are randomly selected. They come together as a group to be briefed on an issue and to make recommendations. A citizens’ jury aims to involve the wider community in the decision making process of an organisation or government. Citizens’ juries are usually convened to consider one issue over a brief period of time and are then disbanded.
Why do we need a Citizen's Jury? Don't we pay the Councillors to do this as part of their role?
The City is facing a number of challenges such as rate capping and a reduction in State and Federal funding for service provision. As the City nears Council elections in October (and potentially new Councillors) and the prospect of developing a new Council Plan (a four year strategic document for Council), now is a critical time to ensure the community has a say in the future direction of Council. The City wants to hear from a group that represents Bendigo residents (including location, gender, age and income) to make sure that it continues to provide the right services into the future.
What is the cost of the project and who is paying for it?
The project cost is $89,000. Council is paying for the project.
How will the sessions operate?
The jury sessions are being conducted by an independent facilitator alongside representatives of newDemocracy. All sessions will be open to the public.
How do I contact newDemocracy Foundation?
Contact newDemocracy on 0467 066 185 or email [email protected]. All queries are to be directed to newDemocracy.
newDemocracy is convening the jury on behalf of Council and is best placed to answer your questions about the process and how the community can be involved. Council’s role is to facilitate and support the jury through the provision of information and documentation requested and to provide meeting venues, catering and other logistical support.
Why wasn't I invited to participate?
The random selection was taken from the 55,000 properties on our properties database. This means there is a 1 in 18 chance of your household receiving an invitation from the random selection of 3,000.
Is it a voluntary role or are they paid positions?
Jury members will be invited to participate by random invitation and selection. Participants have to register their interest in participating. At the conclusion of the jury, a one off payment of $400 will be made to jurors to recognise their time and commitment to this process. Meals will be provided at the Citizens’ Jury meetings.
Are the Jury member's details public information? Where can I find them?
No. newDemocracy will not provide any juror contact information.
Does Council have to act on the Jury's recommendations?
It is the intention of Council to implement as many of the Jury’s recommendations as possible. The final decision, however, rests with the elected Mayor and Councillors.
Submissions made to the Jury
Greater Bendigo community members had the opportunity to make a submission to the Citizens’ Jury, and the following were received:
- Bendigo Loddon Primary Care Partnership
- William Collier
- Andrea Metcalf
- Bike Bendigo
- Brian Stanmore
- Pat Horan
- Michael McKenzie
- St Johns Close Public Space Action Group
- Bendigo Community Health Services
- Colin Campbell
- Bendigo Health
- AFL Central Vic
- Bike Bendigo - No: 2
- Mary Markey
Documents provided to the Jury
- Citizens' Jury Briefing Book
- Council Plan 2013-2017 (2016-2017 Update)
- 2016-2017 Budget
- Independent Review Final Recommendations Report
- Report on Liveability Indicators - March 2016
Information requested by the Jury
- Draft Environment Strategy 2016-2036
- Draft Rural Communities Strategy
- Presentation by City of Greater Bendigo CEO Craig Niemann
- Remplan website - Economic Profile for City of Greater Bendigo
- ProfileID website - Economic Profile for City of Greater Bendigo
- Crime statistics
- DSS Settlement Report - April 2010 to March 2015
- ABS 2011 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Profile
- Greater Bendigo Youth Strategy
- Planning Scheme Amendments Timing Chart - adopted by Council August 26, 2015
- Bendigo Business Council Brochure
- YO Bendigo website
- Number of Businesses by Industry
- Sample of Major Events Management Cost Analysis