Council, 23 July 2015.

Significance and Engagement Policy 2014 [PDF, 198 KB]

Policy Statement:

The Council seeks meaningful exchange with the community through engagement on local decision-making. Genuine engagement will be encouraged in a manner that is consistent with the significance of the issue, proposal or decision, is transparent and clearly communicated.

Under the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Act 2014 (LGA), Councils are required to develop a policy on significance and engagement. The intent of this is to give greater clarity and certainty to the community about how and when it can expect to be engaged. Refer to Appendix 1 for definitions.


  • Decision-makers are well informed, aware of and take into account the community’s views.
  • The Council will use a consistent approach to establishing the significance of a matter requiring a decision.
  • The level of engagement will be tailored to the level of significance for each issue, proposal or decision.
  • Decision-making and engagement processes are transparent and clearly expressed.
  • The community will have clarity on the range of engagement methods the Council may use relative to the significance of a matter.
  • Engagement is proactive, inclusive, accessible, a two-way dialogue, and people are aware of and understand the final decisions taken.

General Approach to Determining Significance and Level of Engagement:

The Council will follow a three-step process to inform decision-making:

  1. Determine significance – the Council will use agreed criteria to decide if a matter is of higher or lower significance.
  2. Link level of significance to level of engagement – the level of significance will link to a corresponding level of engagement to be undertaken.
  3. Consider methods of engagement – each level of engagement will have a range of methods that the Council is able to choose from to undertake the engagement required.

This policy replaces:

Citizens' initiated referenda policy
Consultation Policy
Consultation with retailers on traffic issues policy
Seeking community views policy
Determining significance policy