community engagement strategy

Plan 2013-14)
The Community Plan
The Community Plan
identifies our community’s
long term aspirations for the
City. It looks beyond the next
ten years, setting out long
term community outcomes
and the strategies to get us
there. Achieving these
outcomes will require strong
leadership from Council,
working with our partners, to
grow our Regional City into
the future.
The Delivery Program
including the
Operational Plan
The Delivery Program
is Council’s 4 year work
program that helps
implement the Community
Plan. The Delivery Program
(which now includes the 1
year Operational Plan) sets
out the services, service
activities and specific actions
Council will deliver each year,
and the annual budget.
The Community
Engagement Strategy
The Community Engagement
Strategy explains how Council
engaged with our community
and partners to develop the
Community Plan. In 20132014, the Strategy will be
amended to outline Council’s
proposed program of regular
engagement with our
community about the City’s
The Resourcing
The Resourcing Strategy
details Council’s capacity to
manage assets and deliver
services over the next ten
years. It has three key
sections which show how
Council will effectively
manage its finances,
workforce and assets.
The City Strategy
The City Strategy seeks to
help build a sustainable
future for the City and our
community, by examining the
key issues facing us over the
next 10-20 years and
outlining how Council will
respond. The City Strategy
includes issues that are not
within Council’s direct control.
The issues and policy
responses in the City
Strategy inform the
Community Plan and
Council’s 4 year Delivery
Adopted 21 June 2010
Amendment No.1 11 April 2011
Council reports regularly on
our activities and spending.
We report quarterly on the
budget and six monthly on
our progress on the activities
and tasks in the 4 year
Delivery Program. The
Annual Report summarises
our progress and financial
position each year. The End
of Term Report is prepared
once every 4 years on behalf
of the outgoing Council, and
outlines our achievements
and challenges over the
Councillors term in office.
Introduction.............................................................................................................................. 2
What guides Penrith City Councils community engagement?............................ 3
What is community engagement?...........................................................................................3
Why is community engagement important?........................................................................3
Who are our communities?.........................................................................................................3
Social justice.....................................................................................................................................4
Our community engagement values ......................................................................................4
What level of engagement?........................................................................................................5
Engagement opportunities................................................................................................ 6
Appendix A: Review of the Community Strategic Plan
Engagement Program 2012-13.......................................................................................... 8
Survey and flyer.............................................................................................................................. 11
Listening posts............................................................................................................................... 12
Specific group engagement..................................................................................................... 13
Councillor workshops.................................................................................................................20
City partners forum...................................................................................................................... 21
Outcomes of the Engagement Program............................................................................. 22
Contact us............................................................................................................................... 23
Interpreter assistance.........................................................................................................24
Resident Focus Group engagement
Thank you for your interest in working with
Penrith City Council, to help us make sure
our decisions, plans and actions reflect the
experiences, priorities, needs and aspirations
of our diverse communities.
We have developed this Community
Engagement Strategy to ensure regular and
ongoing opportunities for you to have a say
in planning for the City’s future.
Council has developed a strategic
framework that reinforces our commitment
to a sustainable future for our City and
its communities. We have an integrated
suite of documents, the result of extensive
community consultation, that outline the
actions Council and our key partners will
need to take over time to achieve our shared
vision for the future.
Many residents have already participated in
a range of sessions and surveys, contributing
ideas and helping us identify what you want
us to focus on in planning for our City. This
valuable community input is clearly reflected
in the Community Plan – Penrith City’s ‘big
picture’ plan for the next 20 years or so.
Listening Post at Seniors Week concert Penrith
What guides Penrith City
Council’s community
What is community engagement?
Community engagement, or public
participation, is defined by the International
Association of Public Participation (IAP2)
as any process that involves the public in
problem solving or decision making and
uses public input to make better decisions.
This includes decisions that directly impact
upon living, working, playing, studying,
using services and doing business in the
City. Community engagement is a dynamic
process that covers a wide range of
activities including consultation, education,
communication and relationship building.
Why is community engagement
Effective community engagement is good
democracy, good business and good
management. It benefits Council and the
community in many ways, by:
• increased community awareness about
Council’s services and activities
• increased Council’s understanding of
the diverse experiences, needs and
priorities of our local communities, so we
can deliver more efficient and effective
• allowing exploration of a wider range of
solutions and possibilities
• fostering effective communication and
positive relationships
• providing early warning of emerging
issues, allowing them to be dealt with
proactively, and
• Reduces costs and timelines by
identifying and resolving issues early.
Council has always been committed to
involving our residents and stakeholders
in decisions about our City. We value the
diversity of skills, views and expertise in our
communities. We seek opportunities to
gather a broad range of perspectives to help
us make better informed decisions about
policy directions and service delivery that
directly affect our communities.
Who are our community?
Council defines our communities as
any individual or group of individuals,
organisation or political entity with an
interest in the outcome of a decision.
There are communities that are
connected to places (people who all
live in or are otherwise connected to a
particular geographical area) and there
are communities defined by people
sharing a particular experience, interest,
or characteristic. Some examples of
communities of interest include young
people, business and industry groups,
gender, faith groups, sports groups, older
people, people with disability, Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people, cultural
and linguistically diverse groups or residents
and environmental groups.
These communities are referred to as
stakeholders. They may be, or perceive that
they may be, affected directly or indirectly
by the outcome of a decision. Internal
stakeholders (individuals who work for or
with the decision making organisation) are
also part of our communities.
Every engagement process is different and
each one will engage our communities
in the most appropriate ways. Each
significant Council project that involves the
participation of our communities will detail
the relevant stakeholders and the methods
of engagement in the project proposal.
Maltese Group consultation
Social justice Our community engagement values
Social justice is about promoting more
socially inclusive communities for all
people, and in particular for those groups
of people most likely to be marginalised or
in vulnerable situations, such as Aboriginal
and Torres Strait Islander people, children,
people from culturally and linguistically
diverse backgrounds, people with
disabilities, older people, women and young
Council is committed to the following values
when consulting with our communities:
Council’s Community Engagement Strategy
recognises that everyone should have a fair
opportunity to participate in the future of
their community. It is based on the social
justice principles of equity, access and
participation to ensure:
• equity in decision making and the
distribution of resources
• fair access for everyone to the economic
resources and services they need to
meet their basic needs and to improve
their quality of life
• better opportunities for everyone for
genuine participation and consultation
about decisions that affect their lives.
• Inclusive participation
Council will provide opportunities for all
people who are potentially affected by,
or interested in, projects or activities to
• Commitment
Council will identify, understand and
work to engage relevant communities.
• Build relationships
Council will build trust through personal
contact and keeping promises. Effective
relationships between Council and its
communities will be maintained by using
a variety of communication channels, as
well as respecting stakeholder values
and interests, and exploring them to find
common ground.
• Transparency
Council’s community engagement
processes will be undertaken in a clear
and transparent manner so that our
communities understand at the outset
what they have the opportunity to
influence, and to what degree.
• Partnership approach
Council and communities’ needs and
priorities will be respected in the design
and implementation of any community
engagement processes.
• Feedback
Council will inform participants how their
input contributed to the decision making
What level of engagement?
Different levels of engagement are
appropriate for different activities and issues.
The level of engagement that will take place
on any given issue will depend on various
factors including specific objectives of the
project. In some circumstances the time and
resources that are available may also play a
part in determining the level of engagement.
This means there is little scope to achieve
the highest level of engagement (empower).
Council can establish committees within
its decision making framework that
include members of our communities and
elected Councillors, and these can make
recommendations to Council.
The International Association of Public
Participation (IAP2) describes five levels of
community engagement:
To provide our communities with balanced, objective information to assist them
to understand Council issues, alternatives and decisions
To obtain our communities’ feedback on issues, analysis, alternatives and
decisions being considered by Council
To work directly with our communities throughout the process to ensure that
community aspirations, concerns and issues are consistently understood and
To partner with our communities in each aspect of the decision including the
development of alternatives and the identification of a preferred solution
To place final decision making in the hands of our communities
Source: IAP2 Public Participation Spectrum
Blue Emu Children’s Centre art activity
There will be other matters where it is
important for our communities to be
consulted or involved and given an
opportunity to give feedback so Council
can make a more informed decision. For
example, Council will consult on a variety of
planning matters and collaborate with the
relevant communities in the development of
Neighbourhood Actions Plans.
In other situations the community may be
part of the solution, so engagement will
be collaborative, with Council and the
community working as partners to address
an issue. There are some issues where
Council and our communities have no
influence, so the appropriate engagement
may just be for Council to inform our
communities. For example, where there
have been changes to legislation Council
may simply communicate this.
While Council seeks to engage with its
communities, we operate under the Local
Government Act which means we have
certain regulatory responsibilities and
powers that we cannot delegate.
Engagement opportunities
We will use a range of communication
channels, including local media, Council’s
quarterly Community Newsletter and our
website, to let you know about upcoming
opportunities to get involved or have
your say on particular policies, plans and
Over the past ten years, Council has engaged
extensively with the City’s communities,
discussing the changing characteristics and
predicted future growth of our population, and
determining what our communities need now
and into the future. Discussions have focused
on recreation and culture, as well as health,
ageing, youth, transport, employment growth
and economic development opportunities in
the City (see Table 1 opposite).
GenYQ Networking meeting
Council has involved our communities in
detailed consideration of the City’s assets
and opportunities, how our communities
are likely to change over time, and what
facilities, infrastructure and services are
needed in the next 20-25 years.
This engagement contributed to our
knowledge and understanding of what is
important to our communities now and in
the future, and has been incorporated into
Council’s strategic documents, including the
Community Plan.
See our website,
au for more information about the results of
previous community engagement.
Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower
Strategies and studies
Rural Lands Strategy
Managing Existing and Future
Urban Growth in Penrith
PLANS (People’s Lifestyle
Aspirations and Needs Study)
Penrith Biodiversity Strategy
Recreation and Cultural
Facilities Strategy
Established Areas
Infrastructure, Facilities and
Services Strategy
Werrington Enterprise Living
and Learning (WELL) Precinct
Penrith City Centre Strategy
St Marys Town Centre Strategy
Dwelling Opportunities
Employment Planning Study &
2006, 2007
Open Space Action Plan
Riverlink Precinct Plan
Penrith Integrated Transport
and Land Use Strategy (PITLUS)
Penrith Regional City
Infrastructure (PRCI)
Cultural Development
Framework and Action Plan
Transport Summit
Women’s Services Sector
Advocacy Strategy
Penrith Inclusion Plan – People
with Disability
Planning for an Ageing
Community Strategy
Youth Action Plan
Health Strategy
Neighbourhood Action Plans
2008, 2009,
Services for Men Action Plan
Community Strategic Plan 2031 2010
Penrith City Centre Car Parking
The Future of Penrith - Penrith
of the Future
Child Friendly City Strategy
Penrith Accessible Trails
Hierarchy Strategy (PATHS)
Review of Community
Strategic Plan 2031
Table 1: Summary of Engagement Opportunities
Review of the Community Plan
Engagement Program 2012-13
Appendix A
Council has developed a Community Plan that identifies the main priorities and aspirations
of our communities. The Community Plan reflects what our communities would like to
see in the city as it grows over the next 20 years. Accompanying the Community Plan is
the Engagement Strategy which outlines how council will engage with our communities in
developing and reviewing the Community Plan.
Council adopted a new Community Plan, (Community Strategic Plan 2031) in June 2010. Key
themes in the plan are local jobs, training, better public transport, safe roads and pathways, a
choice of quality housing, protection of the environment and making sure our City’s river and
creeks are healthy. In addition, people want to feel safe and proud of their neighbourhoods.
Every four years Council is required to review its Community Plan to ensure it is up to
date. It is an opportunity to identify any new or emerging issues and to align with the local
government elections.
To encourage and provide opportunities for Penrith’s diverse residents, key partners
and other stakeholders to express their various needs, Council successfully planned and
implemented the following comprehensive Engagement Program.
Rainbow Cottage Children’s Centre art activity
Council undertook a program of
engagement activities to review the
Community Plan. Council was keen to
encourage participation from as many
people in the City as possible; residents,
workers and visitors, representing a variety
of age groups, cultural groups, business
and community organisations. A key
objective of the engagement program was
to incorporate the principles of social justice
with regard to equity, access and broader
community participation, particularly in
relation to engaging groups that Council has
not actively engaged with in the past.
The public participation process involved
activities over 12 months, including a survey,
forums, focus groups, art activities, vox
pops, social media, newspaper articles,
submissions and informal chats with Council
staff at a number of local shopping centres
and events. The different activities were
devised to reach and attract feedback
from as many people in the community as
possible, and from different age groups,
cultural backgrounds and the diverse
neighbourhoods that make up our City.
Council created an environment where the
public felt confident and able to express
their thoughts, knowing their opinion was
valued and that they were being heard.
To achieve these project objectives, Council’s
communications promoting the community
engagement championed the importance
of residents being involved in setting the
directions of the City, now and in the future.
Council’s communication reiterated what
residents had said previously and what
actions Council implemented as a result to
show our communities (rather than simply
telling them) that their feedback was valued
and meaningful in determining Council’s
The program of engagement activities below
is specific to the review of the Community
Strategic Plan 2031 which occurred during
2012. A comprehensive engagement
process was vital to ensure we prepared
a plan that truly represents what our
communities would like to see happen in the
years ahead. The information gathered is
being used to prepare the next Community
Plan and will provide direction to the new
Council as it prepares the Delivery Program
for 2013 to 2017.
The engagement program had 5 key stages:
A City-wide survey mailed to all residents of the LGA as well as being available
on Council’s website. Surveys were also completed at listening posts held at a
number of local shopping centres as well as events such as the Seniors Week
Focused consultation with targeted priority groups such as children, young
people, seniors, Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities,
people with disabilities and Aboriginal communities.
Forums with community and business groups
Councillor workshop, Key Partners Forum and public exhibition of the draft
Community Plan and strategic planning documents
Resident Focus Group and Resident On-line Forum
Details of the engagement methods and program for reviewing the current Strategic Plan follow.
Survey and flyer
A survey and flyer was sent to all residents
and ratepayers in the City (approximately
75,000 households) inviting them to
participate in local engagement activities.
Residents were also able to fill in the survey
online on Council’s website.
The flyer listed dates of key events and
listening posts. The flyer also provides
examples of what Council had done over
the last four years in responding to what our
communities told us was important to them.
The questions in the City-wide survey were
built around the themes in the current
Strategic Plan. The following questions were
used across the majority of engagements
1. What would improve your lifestyle?
2. For a greener city, what should we do?
3. For a more liveable city, what needs to
4. For more vibrant, safe and healthy
neighbourhoods, what should we do?
5. What should the council plan for in the
6. If the council only focused on one thing
over the next 5 years, what should it be?
7. What would make you want to stay in the
Penrith area for the next 20 years?
8. What do you feel is the biggest
challenge facing the Penrith community
in the next 20 years?
The City-wide survey also provided the
opportunity for each person to nominate
if they would like to be involved in a focus
The City-wide survey was used at listening
posts and major events. It was also
available on Council’s website for the entire
engagement process. A dedicated email
address ([email protected])
was also set up on the website for questions
and submissions.
Over 4,600 residents or visitors in the City
completed the survey.
Listening Post at High Street Penrith
Listening posts
Council staff travelled to various locations across the City to seek feedback on what our
communities liked about being in Penrith, and wanted for its future.
The listening posts were advertised through local newspapers, Councils website and
Community Newsletter, social media and succeeded in engaging with more than 400
residents or visitors.
The City-wide survey detailed above formed the basis of questions asked by staff at each
listening post and event/festival. Staff used ipads to survey people and collect information.
Using this technology assisted in collating and analysing the data.
St Marys Seniors Week Concert
Tuesday 20 March 2012
Penrith Seniors Week Concert
Thursday 22 March 2012
Londonderry Village shops
Tuesday 27 March 2012
Lennox Centre, Emu Plains
Thursday 29 March 2012
Westfield Penrith Plaza & High Street Penrith
Saturday 31 March 2012
Nepean Centro
Saturday 31 March 2012
Cranebrook Shopping Centre
Monday 2 April 2012
Mulgoa Village shops
Tuesday 3 April 2012
St Marys Village Shopping Centre & Queen Street St Marys
Wednesday 4 April 2012
Glenmore Park Shopping Centre
Saturday 14 April 2012
Penrith Railway Station
Tuesday 17 April 2012
St Marys Station
Wednesday 18 April 2012
The Mondo (greenspace outside Westfield Penrith Plaza)
Thursday 19 April 2012
Youth Festival at Jamison Park
Friday 20 April 2012
St Clair Shopping Centre
Saturday 21 April 2012
Youth engagement
Specific group engagement
A key part of the program was to encourage participation from a variety of age groups,
cultural and interest groups. Specific group engagement events held between March and
June 2012 included:
Engaging our Older People
Listening posts were set up during Seniors Week events with 95 seniors completing the survey.
St Marys , St Marys Corner
20 March 2012
Penrith, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
22 March 2012
Key messages:
Older people consider Council’s key focus should be on improving community services, such
as health services, transport, aged care and housing. They also believe Council should be
focusing on value for money, managing its finances and general maintenance of public areas.
Listening Post at Seniors Week concert St Marys
Engaging our cultural communities, Aboriginal communities and people with disabilities
Conversations with representatives from our cultural communities, Aboriginal communities
and people with disabilities started through meetings and workshops held during May
and June. With the exception of children’s and youth activities where the questions
were modified to better suit the audience, the following questions were used across all
engagement activities:
1. If Council focused on one thing over the next 5 years, what should it be?
2. What would make you want to stay in the Penrith area over the next 20 years?
3. What is the biggest challenge facing the Penrith community in the next 20 years?
The meetings held were:
Maltese community
2 May 2012
Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) community meeting
9 May 2012
40 people from CALD communities participated.
Aboriginal Sports Youth Group
8 May 2012
Koori Cuppa Tea
30 May 2012
Aboriginal Sports Youth Group
7 June 2012
44 people from the Aboriginal community participated.
Access Committee Meeting
11 April 2012
People with Disability Meeting, St Marys
23 May 2012
People with Disability Meeting, Penrith
24 May 2012
7 people representing people with disability attended the meetings
Key messages:
In terms of focus areas for Council in the next 5 years, in summary, the groups identified
short-term public infrastructure improvements currently impacting each group such as improved
road drainage in rural areas, linked shared pathways and pathway improvements, advocating for
improved public transport and upgrading the Nepean River area. The need to address illegal
dumping and keeping public areas clean and litter ‘free’ (more bins) were also raised.
The Aboriginal women’s group (Koori Cuppa Tea) suggested increasing tourism in the City
(e.g. eco-tourism), activities for children in the holidays as important. Public transport, local
jobs, access to training, sport and recreational spaces were particularly important messages
expressed by young people from the Aboriginal Sports Youth groups.
Accessibility was an area of focus for people with disabilities. This was in terms of pedestrian
crossings matching up with exits, improved pathways, more bus shelters with seating, more
tactile indicators throughout the City and the need for traffic light walk signals to provide a
longer length of time to cross the road.
The provision of increased housing options, whilst maintaining the visual appeal of the
natural and built environment, is seen as key factor in retaining resident. A sense of
community and local employment opportunities were also important.
Economic growth of businesses and employment, as well as public infrastructure improvements,
was seen as the biggest challenges facing the Penrith community over the next 20 years.
Engaging our youth
To engage young people Council used ‘vox pops’ (‘voice of the people’) to record a DVD
about what young people liked about living in Penrith and what they thought needed
improving in the future. Two locations in the City where young people gather were chosen –
the ‘Mondo’ (youth activities held in the green outdoor space in front of Penrith Westfield on
Thursday evenings) and Jamison skate park.
‘The Mondo’, Penrith
19 May 2012
Skate Park, Jamison Park, Penrith
20 May 2012
Young people were asked the following
1. Can you tell us what you like about living
in Penrith?
2. Is there anything council could do to
make it better?
3. Are there things Council could do to
help you get around Penrith easier?
Approximately 42 youth were interviewed
for the 4min Vox Pop. The YouTube video
can be viewed at
In addition to the ‘vox pops’ staff attended
Aboriginal youth sporting groups in
Kingswood Park and Cranebrook.
Key messages:
Young people felt there was a strong sense
of community spirit in their areas. They
also placed importance on having access to
outdoor areas such as sport and recreational
facilities and shopping centres.
class group and was based on the favourite
places children that had been identified in
the Children’s Strategy, namely:
kid friendly parks
place to ride their bike or scooter
natural places (river, lakes)
swimming pools, and
safe places (libraries, schools, children’s
A total of 89 children across the 4 Children’s
Centres participated in the art activity.
The key areas identified by the children
as important included outdoor areas that
facilitated recreational activities such as bike
riding, walking, swimming and family picnics.
Other important areas included cultural and
community facilities such as Libraries, Joan
Sutherland Centre and Penrith Regional Art
The following are some examples of the
children’s artwork:
The provision and/or improvement of
public infrastructure, including sporting
fields and public spaces as well as
providing jobs, education and training
opportunities close to home were seen as
areas that could be improved.
Young people also thought Council should
advocating for improved and affordable bus
services which would enable youth to get
around the city with greater ease.
Engaging our children
Engagement with children aged 5-13 years
was undertaken through Council’s Children’s
Centres. The four centres involved were:
• Ridgee-ee-didge Long Day Care (Oxley
• Blue Emu Children’s Centre (Emu
• Rainbow Cottage Children’s Centre
(Cambridge Park), and
• Glenmore Park OOSH Centre.
Children at the different Centres were asked
to express what’s important to them through
art. They could choose any art media to
best express their ideas (drawing, painting,
canvas, photos, collages, posters). The art
activity could be individual or presented as a
Ridge-ee-Didge Children’s Centre,
Oxley Park
Feeling at peace in the bush
Under my umbrella
The focus for this art work was on the natural
environment and local community. The
children painted green grass, blue sky and
yellow for the sun. The children wanted
more shelters so they could have picnics in
the rain. Using small umbrellas the children
popped each umbrella up at different
heights to create a very attractive design.
The children used blue paint to represent
the sky and natural pieces such as bark and
leaves to represent the natural environment.
The children created the bush scene to link
with our enjoyment of community picnic
areas, nice bike rides and a place to walk.
Watching water
Follow the path
This artwork shows the children’s interest
in riding bikes with friends and family in
the community as well as extra pathways
through different environments, taking in the
beautiful outside world without impacting on
the natural environment.
The children focused on the texture and
appearance in order to get the best water
effects. Blue glitter paper which shows the
water ‘twinkling in the sun’ as well as blue
foam whirls to show fast moving water ‘like in
the Nepean river’.
Blue Emu Children’s Centre, Emu
Glenmore Park Out of School
Hours Care Centre
The artwork produced by the children of
Blue Emu Children’s Centre had a strong
focus on the outdoor environment.
Jake – aged 3
Jake utilised watercolour pencils to
demonstrate the sky and the grass.
Juliette – aged 4
The children love walking along Glenmore
Park Loch observing the wildlife and fish.
The also like riding their bikes along the
pathways with their families.
Rainbow Cottage Children’s
Juliette sketched trees around her house
and her family.
Jack – aged 5
Children painted a collage of their favourite
places to visit. Places they included are
Ripples, local parks, the fire Museum, Penrith
Regional Art Gallery, Hoyts Cinema, Penrith
Westfield and Penrith City Library.
Jack utilised oil paints to illustrate a person
walking along a road with a bridge and trees.
Engaging our community groups
Key messages:
Two Community Breakfast Forums with nongovernment agencies from the community
services sector was held on Wednesday 16
May 2012 and Wednesday 15 May 2013. The
breakfast forums provided the opportunity
to inform the community services sector
about our engagement process for reviewing
the Community Strategic Plan 2031, and
talk about the messages emerging from
the City-wide survey. Around 70 and 65
representatives from the community services
sector attended each breakfast forum.
The focus areas for Council identified by
Community groups were planning for
population growth, including infrastructure,
public transport, parking and roads.
A Community Groups Forum was held
on 28 June 2012, and was attended by 25
representatives from:
• Wentworth Area Housing
• Police
• Mulgoa, Wallacia, Llandilo and Berkshire
Park Progress Associations
• Emu Plains Lions Club
• Indigenous Community Volunteers
• Lifestart
• National Seniors
• Mission Australia
• Australian Foundation for Disability and
• Ageing, Disability and Home Care.
Community Groups Forum
The improved community, social and cultural
services and facilities were identified as
key in retaining residents in the Penrith
area along with the availability of different
housing options.
Engaging our business groups
A Business Group Forum was held on 17
May 2012 (5:30pm-7pm) for business groups
and representatives including the Penrith
Valley Chamber of Commerce, St Marys
Town Centre Association, Penrith City
Centre Association and the Penrith Business
Staff also attended the GenYQ Networking
Meeting on 3 May 2012 (5:30pm-7pm) where
the City-wide survey was completed by all
A total of 21 business representatives
attended these events.
Key messages:
Business representatives identified attractive,
accessible and safe pathways linking the city
to different areas of Penrith and improved
parking and traffic management in the CBD
was areas identified for focus.
Ensuring a mix of housing opportunities and
local jobs for current and future populations
was considered a key factor in retaining
residents. Economic growth in businesses
and employment, as well as public
infrastructure improvements, is seen as the
biggest challenges facing Penrith over the
next 20 years.
Focus groups
During Council’s engagement activities,
residents were asked to indicate if they were
interested in being further involved in focus
groups about the issues raised. From this
approximately 1,600 residents indicated they
were interested in participating in further
discussions. From this group:
• 60 residents attended the Resident Focus
Group held on meeting on Wednesday
31 October 2012; and
• 65 residents registered to participate in
the Resident On-line Forum between 16
November and 3 December 2012.
Of the 65 residents registered to participate
in the Resident On-line Forum:
• 19 residents gave in depth feedback;
• 22 residents participated in agree/
disagree interactive discussion; and
• 37 residents downloaded a total of 87
In advance of the Resident Focus Group, an
information package was sent to all residents
providing a summary of the key messages
from the City-wide survey and giving an
overview Council’s services and budgets.
This information was also made available
to residents who participated in the on-line
The Resident Focus Group and Resident
On-line Forum were designed to explore
in more detail the key issues identified by
the community and guide what Council
should focus on over the next 5 years. The
objectives of the two targeted focused
consultations were to:
• enable residents to discuss in more detail
the key issues for the City identified
through earlier consultations and the
City-wide survey,
• provide residents with an understanding
of the Council’s services and capacity,
• provide residents an opportunity to
guide what Council should focus on over
the next 5 years and establish priorities.
Three activities at the Resident Focus Group
were undertaken to identify in more detail
what the key issues meant to the community
and to identify community priorities. These
• An in-depth round table discussion
• Keepad technology for prioritising key
• Group activity using Penrith dollars to
further prioritise issues.
Resident Focus Group
From these activities, the top 5 priorities
identified by participants were:
Population growth
Jobs closer to home
Clean and safe public spaces
Protecting our unique scenery and
urban/rural mix
Parks, recreation and leisure, traffic, parking
and drainage and using resources wisely
were also identified as important.
Three activities were available as part of the
Resident On-line Forum. These included:
• An opportunity to discuss in more detail
the key issues identified through the
City-wide survey by theme
• A prioritisation activity (budget allocator)
which involved participants being asked
to spend $10,000 over 11 priority areas
(in $1,000 Penrith Dollars allocations)
• A quick poll exercise to assess:
oo if participants felt the on-line forum
interesting and informative;
oo if participants felt they were able to
contribute their ideas; and
oo if on-line forums was a useful way
to engage
In summary the top issues participants in the
Resident On-line Forum identified that were
of highest importance were:
Top Issues
• Making sure our finances are
sound/ used responsibly
• Managing population growth
A Vibrant
• Clean and safe public spaces
A Liveable
• Safety and Crime Prevention
A Greener
• Using resources wisely
• Community spirit
• Sporting fields, parks and
swimming pools
• Local food production
• Protecting our unique scenery and
urban/rural mix
• Jobs closer to home,
• Affordability
• Local Events
• Festivals
When using the budget allocator to prioritise
activities, participants identified parks,
recreation and leisure as a key area for
Council resources. Community spirit, roads,
traffic, parking and drainage, and clean and
safe public spaces were also important:
The results of the quick poll were:
Quick poll
• Fifteen (93.8%) of 16 participants
found the on-line forum interesting
and informative.
• Seven (87.5%) of 8 participants felt
they were able to contribute their
• Eight (88.9%) of 9 participants
considered on-line forums to be a
good way to engage.
Councillor workshops
Two workshops with Councillors were held on
16-18 November 2012 and 16 February 2013.
The workshops were an important component
in reviewing the current Community Plan.
Through conversations with the newly elected
Councillors on issues and projects important to
them were identified. The workshops assisted
to build a program of actions for the next four
Councillor identified the following as key areas
of focus over the next four years:
• Investment and growth in the City’s key
• Creating opportunities for activities on and
around the Nepean River
• Advocating for a stadium that is capable of
hosting national and international events
(entertainment and sport)
• Working with government to secure the
Penrith Lakes Parklands and participate in
unlocking future development potential.
City Partners Forum
A City Partners Forum was held on 11 April
2013. Twenty participants attended the City
Partners Forum with representatives from:
• Hawkesbury Harvest
• Department of Family and Community
• Westfield
• Western Sydney Institute TAFE
• Housing NSW
• Penrith City Centre Corporation
• Centrelink
• Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
• Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health
• Western Sydney Academy of Sport
• Regional Development Australia
• Transport NSW
• Nepean Community College
In advance of the forum an information
package on the draft community outcomes,
associated strategies and role of key
partners was distributed to participants.
Each table was allocated one of the 7
community outcomes and associated
strategies. The 7 draft community outcomes
and strategies are listed below.
Participants were give three 15 minute
discussions to discuss key projects and what
their organisation could contribute to each
outcome. Participants were encouraged to
move to new tables.
The forum was an opportunity for partners
to network and work together with Council
to deliver on the community outcomes. The
information gathered enabled Council to
refine the roles of the key partners, prior to
public exhibition, of the draft Community
Community Outcome
Outcome 1
1.1 Diversify the region’s economy and attract investment, particularly
targeting new and emerging employment sectors
We can work close to home
1.2 Secure infrastructure that improves economic opportunities for existing
and new businesses
1.3 Support agriculture and local food production as a significant contributor
to the region’s economy
1.4 Provide access to education and training to improve residents ability to
take advantage of current and future employment opportunities
Outcome 2
We plan for our future
2.1 Facilitate development that encourages a range of housing types.
2.2 Protect the City’s natural areas, heritage and character
2.3 Ensure services, facilities and infrastructure to a level that meets the needs
of a growing population.
Outcome 3
3.1 Secure an effective public transport network
We can get around the City
3.2 Provide a safe, efficient road network supported by parking
3.3 Improve the City’s footpaths and shared pathway network
3.4 Improve critical cross regional transport connections
3.5 Secure an efficient, integrated and sustainable freight network
Outcome 4
4.1 Improve public spaces and places
We have safe, vibrant places
4.2 Grow and revitalise our centres and neighbourhoods
Outcome 5
5.1 Protect and improve our natural areas, the Nepean River and other
We care for our environment
5.2 Support our communities to live more sustainably and use resources wisely
5.3 Minimise risks to our community from natural disasters
Outcome 6
6.1 Provide opportunities for our community to be healthy and active
We are healthy and share
strong community spirit
6.2 Encourage social connections and promote inclusion in our community
Outcome 7
7.1 Demonstrate transparency and ethical behaviour.
We have confidence in our
7.2 Ensure our finances and assets are sustainable and services are delivered
6.3 Support cultural development, activating places and creativity
7.3 Provide opportunities for our community to participate in making
decisions about the City’s future
Outcomes of the Engagement
Council carried out an extensive engagement
program to review the Community Plan. We
received over 4,600 responses to our Citywide survey, which was mailed to all residents.
We spoke to around 600 people at listening
What you said
posts and through meetings and activities
with specific groups including children, youth,
seniors, people with disabilities, Aboriginal
community and our culturally and linguistically
diverse communities.
The key messages from our community which
have guided the seven Community Outcomes
in the Community Plan are:
Key message
• Create more local employment to reduce
commute times for residents
• Creating jobs to keep the growing
community working locally
• Creating sustainable employment close
to where people live and create new land
releases close to public transport
Provide jobs, education and training
opportunities close to home, particularly for
business groups, community groups, young
people and Aboriginal groups.
Outcome 1
• Delay new development until the roads
and infrastructure are in place
• Improving roads and infrastructure to
cope with increasing population
• Better community services for all groups
and clean and safe public places
Provide the infrastructure and services that are
needed to support growth.
• Reduce traffic congestion at peak travel
• Improve the availability and access of
transport services and parking
• More footpaths and cycleways would
encourage people to exercise
• Roads and public transport need major
Outcome 3
Improve roads, public transport, footpaths and
cycleways. Young people and Aboriginal groups
We can get
identified improvements to public transport
around the City
and infrastructure as a priority. People with
disability also emphasised the importance of
linked share pathways and access improvements.
Public transport and improving rural roads were
priorities for the CALD communities.
• Enhance the appearance of the area with
well presented parks and landscaping
• Keep public areas and streets clean
• Beautify parks and walking tracks
• A more visible police presence
Provide clean, safe, attractive public spaces
and places. The GenYQ Network and Business
Groups identified improved attractiveness,
parking and pedestrian accessibility in the
Penrith City Centre.
• Educate the community on sustainable
living with educational courses
• Encourage people to plant native and
local endemic plant species
• Encourage people to plant more trees in
order to promote a healthy environment
Outcome 5
Look after our environment by protecting
the bushland, rivers, creeks and waterways;
We care for our
encouraging people to use resources wisely;
managing illegal dumping; supporting local
food production and protecting Penrith’s unique
scenery and its mix of urban and rural landscapes
• Create community spirit amongst
• Provide opportunities for the
disadvantaged to engage in community
and sporting events
• Promote community group involvement
• Encourage health and wellbeing in the
• A strong sense of community with events
and festivals that make locals proud
Encourage health and wellbeing. Access
to outdoor areas, sport and recreational
opportunities was important, particularly for
children and young people.
• Council should focus on the quality and
quantity of infrastructure e.g. roads, safety,
traffic control and parking
• Council should manage its finances
A responsible Council in managing its finances,
maintaining assets and public areas and
delivering value for money.
We can work
close to home
The opportunity to live and work local was a key
factor in retaining local residents.
Better community services such as health,
transport, aged care and housing options
were particularly issues for older people and
community groups in the City.
Community, social and cultural services and
facilities were also priorities.
Outcome 2
We plan for
our future
Outcome 4
We have safe,
vibrant places
Outcome 6
We are
healthy and
share strong
A sense of community spirit, and that people
enjoy living and working in the City.
Outcome 7
We have
confidence in
our Council
Survey results and focus group reports, which summarise the key messages and priority areas
identified by the community through our engagement program, are available on our website or by calling the Corporate Planning team on 4732 8109.
Contact us
Council wants to have continual dialogue with our communities, as well as engagement on
specific projects, plans and issues.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions at any time and on any issues:
Penrith City Council
PO Box 60
Email: [email protected]
Fax: 02 4732 7958
Design by
Cover photo by Adam Hollingworth.
Proudly printed in-house at Penrith City Council on 100% recycled paper.
Penrith City Council, 601 High St, Penrith NSW 2750
Telephone: 02 4732 7777
Interpreting Assistance
Penrith City Council
Civic Centre
601 High Street
Penrith NSW
Telephone: 02 4732 7777
Facsimile: 02 4732 7958
[email protected]