If you get a telephone call from the City of Greater Geraldton asking you to consider being a community panel member for its #changesCGGcommunity strategy, it’s your opportunity to have a say in how the City spends its money for your community’s benefit.
The City of Greater Geraldton is ringing in the changes and encourages locals to get on board with its #changesCGGcommunity strategy aimed at involving the community in a meaningful way in prioritising expenditure for capital works projects and in the range and level of services it delivers. This means community members have the opportunity to have input in how the City does things through a ‘participatory budgeting’ process. This allows residents, through randomly selected community panels, to input into and inform Council decision-making on the range and level of services and capital works planning.
Starting tomorrow [Wednesday, October 16] randomly selected residents, representative of the make-up of our community living in Greater Geraldton will be contacted by telephone and asked if they would like to participate on a Community Panel.
City Director of Creative Communities, Andrea Selvey, said taking the participatory budgeting principle further, community members are invited to submit ideas for the City’s capital works projects for the next 10 years and to prioritise what projects should come first.
“Panel members will deliberate together over a series of workshops to set the criteria they will use to assess and prioritise capital works projects to be delivered within the City’s Long Term Financial Plan over the next 10 years,” she said.
“The project suggestions the community would like to have included in the deliberations will need to be either something new, an expansion of something that already exists or an upgrade of some kind.
“For example the suggestions could be an ablution block in a park, road or community facility. It also includes the expansion of something that already exists such as an addition to a community hall or the extension of a bicycle path,” said Ms Selvey.
“It could also involve an upgrade of some kind such as a road intersection or play equipment in a park. Whatever the project may be it will need to be related to a City owned structure or involve City owned land.”
Ms Selvey said setting up the community panel through the participatory budgeting process is the chance for residents to directly inform Council decision making.
“Council has committed to consider and implement panel recommendations to the greatest possible extent,” she said.
“Where the Community Panel’s recommendations can’t be adopted, Council will work with the panel to determine alternative solutions.”
“Implementing #changesCGGcommunity will provide a more transparent, accountable and democratic budget process to ensure equitable representation of community interests,” said Ms Selvey.