The Mirror News

Deadline looms for OurSay on our shire spending

THE people of South Gippsland have only a couple more days to let South Gippsland Shire Council know via OurSay where Budget dollars should best be spent.

At a cost of $20,000 per annum, the council recently partnered with OurSay, an online engagement provider, to undertake community consultation on a range of council activities over the next 12 months. The first consultation focuses on the Council Budget for 2015-2016.

The consultation began on October 27 and runs through to 9pm this Friday, November 14. The top ideas and priorities from the Budget consultation will be presented at community workshops to be held at Meeniyan Hall on Tuesday, November 25.

The shire’s manager of customer relations, Christian Stefani, said the OurSay online community engagement process gave people the opportunity to make their views known from the comfort of their own homes.

“It can be daunting for some people to make a public presentation to Council or speak up at a public meeting. OurSay gives an opportunity to people who may not be overly confident to have a say,” said Mr Stefani.

Speaking to The Mirror last Friday, with still a week to go before the OurSay deadline for ideas on the Budget, Mr Stefani said the OurSay participation rate was tracking well for a first attempt.

“It’s fantastic!” he said. “We’re really happy with how it’s going. We have little to compare it with, but we have had many more responses than what we traditionally get from a Budget submission process – and we expect to get a lot more in the final week.”

Mr Stefani urges more people to have their say on OurSay and also register for the workshops to be held at Meeniyan Hall on November 22. There are links to OurSay on the shire website and Facebook page. You need to log in to vote; you can also place a comment.

The top five priorities for Budget spending, as voted by people on OurSay, will be the focus of the workshops on November 22, and if the current voting pattern continues it looks like the swimming pools at Foster and Mirboo North will lead the pack.

Fred Couper’s request to Council to support the redevelopment of Mirboo North Pool has attracted over 100 votes of support. By Monday this week, there had been even more support for Carol Lester’s suggestion to Council to “work to keep the Foster Swimming Pool operating, heated and improved as an integral part of the Foster community”.

Peter Burgess from the Foster Pool committee is urging more people to register their support for Foster Pool by voting for Carol Lester’s suggestion. “Issues that have a high degree of community response will receive the most consideration by Councillors,” he said “Go to: http://oursay.org/southgippsland/budget and have your say.”

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