Council pushes bid to engage

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury council takes further steps to improve engagement with the community and stakeholders.
Camera IconBunbury council takes further steps to improve engagement with the community and stakeholders. Credit: Graphic / South Western Times

Bunbury City Council is taking further steps to improve engagement with the community and stakeholders after a six-month review showed little progress in a new strategy.

City of Bunbury chief executive officer Mal Osborne this week provided the council with the first progress report into its new Communications and Engagement Strategy 2018-2022.

The strategy was developed in response to recommendations from an independent expert in a bid to “reach and engage audiences with clear, authentic, persuasive and consistent messages that build excitement about Bunbury”.

Of the 22 recommendations under the strategy, the council has so far labelled just two as completed with another three under development and five “ongoing”.

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A further seven actions have been scheduled for next year, one has been postponed and threeare scheduled for 2020 and beyond.

The lack of progress prompted Cr Monique Warnock at this week’s council meeting to suggest a workshop with councillors focusing on resourcing in communication and engagement.

“It’s disappointing but it’s not entirely unexpected that at the six month review point there’s been little progress in implementing the recommendations,” Cr Warnock said.

“The city was struggling in the way it communicated and engaged with its stakeholders and needed better resourcing.

“This strategy aimed to shift the balance towards more strategic and proactive messages and the 22 recommendations pointed the way forward how to do that.

“However, six months later we haven’t come very far at all, we simply don’t have the resources and necessary expertise.”

The council voted in support of the workshop and requested another progress report by April.

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