Community satisfaction with council on the rise

Mackay Regional Council is lifting its game when it comes to community satisfaction.

A new Community Attitude Survey shows overall satisfaction with council's performance has risen since the last survey in 2009.

And nearly 85 per cent of residents believe council's performance is better than or at least on a par with two years ago.

In an extremely positive result, 38.9 per cent of respondents indicated council's performance had improved in the last two years.

Another 45.4 per cent believed it had remained the same and 15.7 per cent felt it had declined.

The Mackay Regional Council Community Attitude Survey, conducted by IRIS Research, included 962 telephone interviews in November last year.

The results showed six out of 10 residents, or 61.6 per cent, were "highly satisfied" with council's overall performance. Only 5.6 per cent indicated a low level of satisfaction.

This resulted in a mean satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, up from 6.5 returned in 2009.

Mayor Deirdre Comerford said the results of the community attitude survey were extremely informative.

"Council is continually striving to improve its performance for our community so results such as these show we're heading in the right direction,'' Cr Comerford said.

"We are the level of government closest to the people, so it is important we are directing our energies and resources into areas to meet and hopefully exceed community expectations."

The survey showed the top five priorities for residents included management of emergency events, such as cyclones and floods; kerbside wheelie bin collection, encouraging and supporting local industry and business; water supply; and consulting the community.

The condition of local sealed roads, informing the community of council services and facilities, and beach foreshore protection also rated highly on the priorities list.

When it came to satisfaction with services and facilities, sewerage scored the highest with a median score of 8.27 out of 10, followed by kerbside wheelie bin collection at 8.15 and operation of library services at 7.95.

Road infrastructure/maintenance was identified by residents as their number one priority for council to deliver in the next five years, with 28.1 per cent of total responses.

This was more than three times higher than the next highest responses of infrastructure/services at 9.3 per cent and affordable rates at 9.1 per cent.

Cr Comerford said council welcomes feedback from the community and in areas of lower community satisfaction to try and address concerns.

"For example, we recently undertook an independent review of our roads business and are implementing recommendations from that report,'' she said.

In positive news, the satisfaction scores for condition of local sealed and unsealed roads had increased significantly since 2009.

Scores were also well up for sewerage, Bluewater Lagoon and maintenance of stormwater drains.

The full report can be viewed or downloaded here...

Council's performance as perceived by the community

Community Attitude Survey

The top three things residents like best about living in the Mackay area:

  • Facilities/shopping 19.5%
  • Climate/weather 18.2%
  • Ocean/beaches/rivers/fishing 18%

The three things residents least like about living in the Mackay area:

  • Traffic congestion/ maintenance of local roads/parking/drivers 28.7%
  • Expensive/high cost of living 18%
  • Lack of services/facilities/public transport 10.85%

The seven highly satisfied services delivered by council

Satisfaction All Services/Facilities (n=962) Mean
Sewerage 8.27
Kerbside wheelie bin collection 8.15
Operation of library service 7.95
Bluewater Lagoon 7.87
Operation of MECC 7.68
Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens 7.62
Management of emergency events, such as cyclones and floods 7.61

Who is included in the survey?

Residents, aged over 18 years and who have lived in the Mackay Regional Council area for at least the past 12 months were selected through random sampling techniques to participate in the survey.

The 2014 Survey was conducted between November 18 and November 29, 2014.

A total of 962 telephone interviews were conducted - well in line with nationally-recognised survey sample sizes.

Calls were made between 4:30pm and 8:30pm.

The survey was conducted by independent consultants IRIS Research, who say that the data indicated that if council repeated the survey, there would be a 95 per cent the results would be very similar.

The survey cost about $42,000

Contact: Mackay Regional Council

Phone: 1300 MACKAY (1300 622 529)

Published: 09 Mar 2015