International framework helps councils engage

Local Government in South Australia has referenced an international framework in developing a new handbook designed to help councils plan more effective community engagement.

The new handbook incorporates a framework developed by the International Association of Public Participation and was developed by the South Australia Local Government Association (LGA) with assistance from SA Minister for State/Local Government Relations, Jennifer Rankine.

LGA President Mayor Joy Baluch said the handbook was aimed at helping councils to take a planned approach and to employ consultation techniques appropriate for their purposes.

She said councils undertook consultation on a regular basis but sometimes hit snags or found it difficult to hear majority views above the activity of vocal minorities.

More than 80 local and SA government representatives will be introduced to the handbook and to the experience of four councils who have tested it, in a forum on Thursday, 27th March.

Minister Rankine said she was pleased to take part in the hadbook’s development. 

“Councils manage a billion dollars of programs a year in SA and $11 billion of community infrastructure and like other governments, they will do that more effectively if communities understand their challenges and provide input into plans and decisions,” she said.

Mayor Baluch said "we are increasingly looking to worlds best practice models for our inspiration."

The handbook is now available on The LGA is also providing training courses for Council staff

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