Councillors will host community meetings in Paynesville, Omeo, Bairnsdale, Orbost, Lakes Entrance and Mallacoota over the next fortnight as the next step in the East Gippsland Shire Council Service Centre and Library Service Review.
Councillors and staff will provide an update on the process, feedback received during the community consultation process, and the proposed next steps. These meetings will be in-person at:
· Paynesville: Monday 19 September, 5–6pm Service Centre Community Hall, 55 Esplanade
· Omeo: Wednesday 21 September, 5–6pm Recreation Reserve, Park Street
· Bairnsdale: Monday 26 September, 3–4pm Bairnsdale Library, 22 Service Street
· Lakes Entrance: Monday 26 September, 5–6pm Mechanics Hall, 18 Mechanics Street
· Mallacoota: Thursday 29 September, 12–1pm Community Club Rooms, Greer Street
· Orbost: Thursday 29 September, 5–6pm Service Centre,1 Ruskin Street
Mayor Cr Mark Reeves said Council has scheduled the community meetings to provide an update on the completion of the consultation process, and outline the proposed next steps of the review.
“Across five weeks in May and June, we offered significant engagement opportunities for the community about this review. We held six in-person and four online community meetings and offered both hard-copy and online survey options,” Cr Reeves said.
“Councillors were provided with all feedback from the community meetings and survey. More than 170 people attended the meetings, there were 925 responses to the survey, and Council has received four petitions.
“Councillors have had the opportunity to review all data and feedback. We have had numerous sessions to develop recommendations for consideration at a future Council meeting. We will outline these recommendations to the community at the sessions.”
· Increased investment
· Providing additional services to more people, in more locations
· Providing additional services to communities that currently receive no library services
· Providing additional services to the vulnerable through the provision of an expanded mobile library service
· No change to centre opening days
· Some minor modifications to centre operating hours
· Council services and library programs currently offered at all sites will remain in place
· Council not subsidising private organisations
· Resourcing to supplement the communication channels most used by community members when interacting with Council , which includes online and phone
· A 12-month trial period to monitor community use.
“By reviewing how we provide our services we can increase opportunities for communities to engage with us. This may include more regular visits, more time spent in remote communities, and what services are provided through our mobile library,” Cr Reeves said.
Council is required by the Local Government Act 2020 to deliver services in accordance with the service principles in Part 5 Section 106 of the Act. This review was undertaken for the customer service and library services to assess whether services are delivered in the most responsible and sustainable manner. The review aligns with the Council’s service review policy.
Objectives of the review were:
· Services will reflect current and future community needs balanced against the resource capacity and financial viability
· Look for a balance in service equity by identifying areas of over-servicing and under-servicing across our entire council footprint
· Assess whether Council is the most appropriate agency to deliver the service
The review does not consider the provision of visitor information services, which will be the subject of a separate review.