Ratepayers keen to embrace digital council services

A majority of Australians want to engage with their local council online, including providing feedback, making payments and applying for permits and licences, a survey indicates.

Peter Nelson

The survey, by tech vendor Datacom, found only one in three (35 per cent) of the 2,000 people surveyed said they felt ‘heard’ by their council.

Only 37 per cent felt their feedback was valued, and 44 per cent said they weren’t aware of the full range of council services.

However, 57 per cent of respondents said they’d be more inclined to engage on council issues if there were better two-way digital channels for feedback,  and 67 per cent said they’d use an app if one was available.

Half said they’d take advantage of digital service options for making payments; 41 said they’d submit and process permit and license applications online, and 34 per cent said they’d use digital channels to book council facilities.

“Overall, the survey results show positive levels of engagement between local councils and the Australian communities they are serving,” Datacom Director of Local Government and MD SaaS Products Peter Nelson said.

“The notable gap is the ability for people to share and receive information from their council in a more immediate way, and for this to be a two-way channel that enables feedback.

“Mobile apps … are also providing a solution for the public to report issues on-the-go, such as blocked drains or fallen trees, and proactively share helpful reminders like remembering to put out the rubbish on the right day.”

Respondents were largely happy with the information they were getting from council, with 73 per cent finding communications with their local government useful and 60 per cent rating communications during times of crisis and extreme weather events highly.

However, there was strong demand for more relevant and timely information on local road closures, construction and community events.

The online survey questioned 400 rate payers in each of the five mainland Australian states between June 9 and June 15.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at editorial@governmentnews.com.au.  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

One thought on “Ratepayers keen to embrace digital council services

  1. How many people were surveyed that do not use much tech? I suspect they were not part of the study as it would have been an online study. You might find a different set of stats if they are included.

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required