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Moreton has its Say

Posted: 5pm 15 Sep 2021

THE region’s natural beauty, affordable lifestyle, access to an active lifestyle and access to services are among the community’s priorities, a comprehensive survey commissioned by Moreton Bay Regional Council has found.

Council’s community engagement survey, Moreton Says, attracted more than 4100 responses, 34 percent of them from Redcliffe or North Lakes and surrounds.

Moreton Says revealed what is most important to community members across the region, and to visitors, and the results will be used to help Council make decisions.

The anchor survey, conducted between April 29 and June 13, will be followed by a series of shorter “Pulse” surveys every few months to allow Council to monitor changes to community views.

Mayor Peter Flannery said it was fitting the results of the survey were released at Council’s first community council meeting held in Samford last week, where councillors met and listened to the views of locals.

Time to act

“This is an important body of work, but it’s a document that will only have real meaning if we act on the expectations you’ve outlined for us,” Mayor Flannery said.

“You have spoken, we have listened, and now it’s time for Council to act.

“Releasing these results is the start of a new conversation with Council, not the conclusion of a report.”

Among the topics measured by consultants VoconiQ during the process were Community Resilience, Community Values, Performance of Council, Responsiveness, Fairness of Council Resource Allocation, Transparency of Council Processes and Trust in Council and Others.

The survey also asked respondents where Council could improve, with two key themes emerging according to the report: buildings and development; and protecting and preserving the environment.

Ninety percent of respondents said environmental preservation was “very”, or “extremely” important, while 85 percent indicated Council’s role in managing building and development was “very important” or “extremely important”, with 41 percent saying they were “somewhat satisfied” with its performance.

Key priorities

The three key themes that emerged as priorities for the Region were pride in its natural beauty, and an overwhelming desire for it to be better protected; a love of the existing lifestyle, with concerns about affordability and housing for future generations; and enthusiasm for more active recreation and lifestyle options in neighbourhoods and communities, in addition to major parks and destinations.

Mayor Flannery said he was proud of Council’s achievements in its first year, but it was clear locals want the organisation to go further.

“Within our first 100 days of office in August 2020, we had actioned new initiatives like the environmental land buyback scheme, creating neighbourhood plans to protect the character of our communities and preventing unplanned development by developing a Regional Growth Management Strategy.

Focus on planning

“Now we need to push forward with a more ambitious agenda if we are to meet your expectations around our environment and lifestyle.

“This will mean a much sharper focus on planning and good planning outcomes, to ensure we provide the necessary infrastructure including local parks and recreation space, and essential roads to service our communities.”

Mayor Flannery said much of Council’s focus in the past year had rightly been on responding to COVID-19, but it was also important to look at the longer-term vision for the region.

“The population growth we’re experiencing, the opportunities associated with the Olympics, the untapped potential of The Mill PDA and the momentum behind our new Regional Economic Development Strategy almost guarantee us success on the other side of COVID.

“But I want to assure the community that in our decision-making we make we’ll have your feedback from the Moreton Says survey at heart.

The results of the Moreton Says anchor survey are available at here.

Read more local news here.

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