Stellar Community Scorecard Response

Published on Monday, 24 July 2023 at 8:27:00 AM

An impressive 9.12% of the Shire of Esperance's population put in the effort to fill out the 2023 Community Scorecard; and the Report is now available. Councillors and the Shire are grateful for the investment in time by the community. The response from this significant proportion of the population provides data confidence, and valuable findings help to inform the Council Plan and future projects, policies and initiatives.

Results from the 2023 Community Scorecard shows high community trust across many markers and dissatisfaction in other areas, and serves as a crucial guide on what is working for our regional population and what needs to be improved.

The Report provides a wealth of information to dig into, including: the community’s top 3 Performing Service Areas of Sport and Recreation Facilities and Services, Library Services and the Bay of Isles Leisure Centre; the Most Improved Areas; and three markers where the Shire of Esperance is the industry leader – reason for celebration!

Shire President Ian Mickel was impressed with the response and happy with the information, saying “These results show our population takes pride in shaping the future of our region. We told our community that the more people who responded, the better the data would be, and the better our planning can be. They really stepped up, so I want to thank them for that.” 

“We’ve run the Scorecard every two years since 2011 to check how our residents think Council and Shire are travelling and get our instructions, but also to track our progress. Results over this time show performance as stable or consistently improving across most of the areas measured.”

“As expected, we received strong messages on areas to improve, and this is essential information that we’re very grateful for. We’re also hearing about areas our residents have a high regard for, and we can all celebrate these. I can assure our community that the Council and Shire will continue to improve, advocate and lobby on their behalf.”

One of the Most Improved markers this year was a Priority Area from the 2021 Community Scorecard; Economic Development and Job Creation. In the time since, Council and the Shire have worked to address this significant issue, with actions included in the Council Plan and steady progress resulting in this positive change in perception. 

Strong messages on areas to improve on also came through loud and clear.

One of the areas showing least satisfaction was Planning and Building Approvals. This was another Priority Area highlighted through the 2021 Scorecard, and work has already begun on improving services and information. In a major commitment by the Shire, staff went through the intensive Small Business Friendly Approvals Program last year, run by the Small Business Development Corporation. Through this Program Shire staff explored how to streamline  small business approvals, and came up with several strategies. A new Local Planning Policy, formalising conditions under which developments did not require Development Approval, was one of the first outcomes, as well as other amendments to reduce red tape. Recent feedback from a major utility has expressed appreciation of the new, easier process for their applications.

The most urgent Priority Area nominated, with considerable dissatisfaction expressed by the community, was Airport facilities & services. The Shire provides, administers and maintains the Esperance Airport, which includes the passenger terminal, runways, and infrastructure for local tourism operators, emergency and commercial services to operate from. Comments for this Priority Area made it clear the frustration expressed referred predominantly to passenger services, with 71% of comments related directly to reliability and many of the remainder referencing the same theme. Council and the Shire have consistently advocated to the Department of Transport and passenger service operators for reliable, quality services for our region. A minor topic in comments centred on Airport infrastructure upgrades; these are addressed through the Council Plan, with upgrades through the Esperance Airport Masterplan scheduled in the coming years. These urgent messages from the community on the Airport mean advocacy and upgrade efforts will be prioritised to meet community needs and expectations.

Shire CEO Shane Burge was satisfied with the information coming from the public, saying “Overall priorities collected through the Scorecard match up with what the community also told us through consultation for the Council Plan. Realisation of the 2023/2024 priorities from the Council Plan are currently being catered for through the Shire Budget, due out in August.”

“Through our community consultations, and following the directions given to us through the Scorecard and other dialogues, we’re progressing and communicating a clear vision for the Shire.”

“We extend our gratitude to everyone who took time to complete the survey. Your input is invaluable, and a testament to the commitment we share in making the Shire of Esperance a thriving and inclusive place to live, work, and play.”

The Scorecard Report provides respondent breakdowns into community segments and locations. Much effort was put into capturing youth opinions, and with 29% of respondents being 34 or younger, this bore fruit. Rural responses at 13%, slightly above the percentage of the rural population in the Shire, is a great way for outlying residents to have their voice heard.

The Shire was shown to be Industry Leaders in 2 areas through the 2021 Community Scorecard; Volunteer support and recognition and Footpaths, trails and cycleways. Focus has been maintained on these and the Shire has held onto the industry leading accolades, with the new area of social media posts also being added. With the importance of efficient communication to the public only increasing, excellent use of social media is vital. Much thought has gone into the Shire’s social media communications, and this is a wonderful success.


Mary Bidstrup (08) 9071 0626

Related Documents

2023 Community Scorecard

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