The Geelong Citizens' Jury completed its Final Report at its last meeting on 21 January 2017.
The Final Report outlines the jury's recommendations in response to the question:
"Our council was dismissed. How do we want
to be democratically represented by a future council?"
Members and representatives of the Greater Geelong community and participants in the jury process were invited to attend an event in Geelong on Saturday, 18 March 2017 where the Minister for Local Government, the
Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, provided the Victorian Government response to the Geelong Citizens' Jury. Watch the video of the Minister's speech below.
The Victorian Government committed to consult the Geelong community about its local governance arrangements following the dismissal of the Greater Geelong City Council in April 2016.
citizens' jury of 100 randomly-selected
Geelong residents was formed to recommend to the
Minister for Local Government, the Hon Natalie Hutchins MP, how the Geelong
community would be democratically represented by a future council.
The jury could make two types of recommendations:
Practical recommendations that reflect a council structure compliant with the Victorian local government legislative framework
Aspirational recommendations about how local democracy could be improved in Greater Geelong that might not be compliant with the Victorian local government legislative framework.
The practical recommendations reflect an electoral structure for the City of Greater Geelong, which has a clear scope:
how the Mayor is elected
whether Geelong needs a Deputy Mayor - and if so, how the Deputy should be elected
how many councillors there should be
what the best representative structure looks like - whether the municipality should be unsubdivided, or divided into wards
if wards are preferred, whether they should be single or multi-member
The Geelong citizens' jury process was designed and was overseen by the newDemocracy Foundation, a non-partisan and independent organisation.
nDF randomly selected the 100-member jury from 15,000 Geelong residents who were invited to register their interest to be a jury member. Key stakeholders and interest groups as well as all members of the Geelong community had the opportunity to have their say in person and online, and have those
views considered by the jury. This ensured the jury was fully informed about all views and perspectives when it deliberated.
The process ran from August until the end of November 2016.
On 3 August, briefings were held in Geelong for key stakeholders and interest groups to hear about the process, put forward their views and nominate to present to the jury.
On 11 August, invitations were issued to 15,000 randomly-selected residents to register their interest to be selected for the jury.
September / October
Broad community engagement conducted around some democratic representation options for Geelong in a background paper. The community was invited to provide their views through a series of interactive local events and online consultation.
October and November
The randomly-selected 100-member citizens' jury met and deliberated over three Saturdays in late October and November.
Jury members considered the background paper, stakeholder submissions and survey responses, the community's feedback and heard from expert witnesses of their choosing and nominated key stakeholders from the briefing session in August.
The jury provided its interim report to the Minister for Local Government in November.
The jury met for a fourth time on 21 January to finalise their report.
The Minister delivered the government's response to final jury report in Geelong on 18 March.
Engaging the community
The Greater Geelong community has been closely engaged and invited to contribute submissions, thoughts and ideas before 24 October for consideration by the jury in late October / November.
There were a number of ways for the community to let the jury know what they think and what they want for a future council:
Democracy Geelong survey. For those who couldn't vote online, hard copy surveys were available at council's main customer service centre on Brougham Street or at one of the public libraries.