The Shire of Collie council will develop an action plan after accepting the results of the latest biennial community perceptions survey.
The online survey allowed local residents to have their say on decisions within Collie heading into the future and to help the shire understand how the community is feeling about the town and where it is heading.
Shire of Collie president Sarah Stanley said the survey is conducted every two years in order to track community perceptions across key indicators of the shire’s Strategic Community Plan.
“The results in the most recent community perceptions survey shows that the shire is generally on the right track, with all but three of the metrics showing an improvement from the 2015/16 results,” Cr Stanley said.
The shire did well in all areas but fell in post secondary education and training opportunities from 39 in 2015/16 to 35, employment opportunities from 33 in 2015/16 to 31 and how the community is consulted about local issues 54 in 2015/16 to 53.
However, in the agenda it states that in order for the results to be taken as a statistically representative sample there needs to be 365 responses collected, but there were only 125 received as opposed to 270 in the last survey.
The agenda states that the survey results should rather instead represent the opinions expressed by those who completed the survey.
There were concerns about the low participation rate among councillors on Tuesday night’s meeting.
“We are concerned that the results are not necessarily representative of the community’s views as the participation rate this year was quite low,” Cr Stanley said.
In order to improve the response rate in the next survey period a number of $1000 cash prizes or different goods such as smart phones or tablets could be offered as an incentive to get more people to fill it out.
Councillor Joe Italiano said at the meeting that the pool of people who filled out the survey and left comments did not reflect a cross-section of people.
Cr Stanley said there were also a lot of comments not related or relevant to the shire and needed to be directed to the right people.
“Our next steps will be to examine the responses in detail and form an appropriate action plan,” she said.
“We encourage feedback from our community on any issue at any time.”