Community satisfaction improves, but more work needed
Published on 25 August 2023
A recent survey suggests that the community's satisfaction with Council has improved, however weeds and infrastructure remain an issue for many residents.
A Community Satisfaction Survey was undertaken in June 2023 by Council’s Corporate and Communications departments in conjunction with independent data specialists Taverner Research Group.
The final survey report shows an overall satisfaction rating of 3.1 out of 5 for Council’s performance over the last 12 months, which represents an increase from the previous 2018 survey which returned a score of 2.9 out of 5.
Confidence in the elected Council has significantly improved since 2018 (2.6 up to 3.2), and confidence in Council's Management (2.6 up to 3.1) and the handling of the city's finances (2.4 up to 3.0) also increased significantly.
Mayor Tom Kennedy said the results should please both Councillors and staff.
"I think the community has confidence because they know this Council and its staff are passionate about Broken Hill and have ratepayers' best interests at heart," he said.
"But we also know there is still plenty of hard work ahead and lots of areas where we can improve."
Some of these areas include footpath maintenance, stormwater drainage, weed control, cemetery upkeep, and management of natural disasters, which all saw downturns in scoring.
Council's General Manager, Jay Nankivell, said those results could be attributed to unseasonably wet weather over the last few years, and the storm events of early 2022 that caused significant damage to infrastructure across the city.
"We suffered a lot of damage to roads, footpaths, and facilities due to the storms and floods, and we're actually still working through a big backlog of jobs from those events," he said.
"Taberner reported that downturns in those areas had been recorded by Councils right across the State due to weather, which was somewhat reassuring.
"But we can certainly understand why infrastructure and weeds remain a concern for residents, and this will be a priority moving forward to increase resources to try and improve things in this area."
The final report from the Community Satisfaction Survey will be tabled at this month's Ordinary Council Meeting for Councillor consideration.
* The 2023 Community Satisfaction Survey was conducted entirely by phone. Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) was conducted to secure a response from 300 residents throughout the Broken Hill City Council LGA. The survey unit was permanent residents of the area, with 6,318 mobile and landline phone numbers selected at random from a verified sample of the Broken Hill LGA. This survey size with a ± 5.7% sampling error, achieves a 95% confidence rate.
Respondents had to be aged 18 years or older to qualify for an interview, and residents who were employees or Councillors of Broken Hill City Council were not permitted to participate. The 2021 Census was used to establish quotas to ensure a suitable distribution of responses by age and gender.