Support for council vision and community satisfaction pleasing

Published: 08 Dec 2021

There is strong community support for council’s new Vision: To become the best region for liveability and livelihood.

Community satisfaction with council facilities and services is also pleasing, with eight of 25 recording high average satisfaction rates (above 7.5).

Only two recorded low average ratings (below 5.5) – condition of unsealed (4.79) and sealed (5.04) local roads.

These are some of the key findings of a Community Attitudes Survey undertaken by Taverner Research Group (formerly IRIS research) on behalf of council.

Council used the phone poll of 402 residents to conduct community consultation to assist with the drafting of its new Corporate Plan.

But it also included satisfaction ratings for council services and facilities, which can be benchmarked against previous surveys in 2018, 2014 and 2009.

Mayor Greg Williamson said the survey provided plenty of useful information to assist with the new Corporate Plan.

He said it also provided good feedback on council facilities and services, including those that were performing well and others that needed more attention.

“One of the interesting things to come out of the survey was that only 46 per cent of residents were aware that ratepayer money was used to attract major events for the region, such as NRL games, concerts and conferences.

“However, a follow-up question showed 72 per cent supported this use of money, with support of 80 per cent among those already aware of this use of rates.”

Mayor Williamson said another interesting outcome was that half of residents agreed council should become a carbon-neutral organisation, with only 25 per cent disagreeing.

“But when the question was repeated with the addition of ‘even if it increases costs for ratepayers’, support dropped to 30 per cent and disagreement jumped to 52 per cent.”

The survey showed residents were most satisfied with:

  • Kerbside wheelie bin collection (recycling and general waste) (8.2)
  • Mackay Regional Botanic Garden and Queens Park (8.05)
  • Water supply and quality (7.98)

Eight services recorded significant increases in average satisfaction since 2018:

  • Water supply and quality
  • Operation of Sarina Sugar Shed
  • Operation of Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre
  • Support for multicultural, Indigenous and Australia South Sea Islander groups
  • Maintenance of parks and playgrounds
  • Provision of community centres and halls
  • Environmental protection (including revegetation, weed and pest control)
  • Maintenance of stormwater drains.

There were statistically significant decreases in average satisfaction with only three services since 2018:

  • Operation of art galleries and museums
  • Operation of waste facilities (including transfer stations and Paget waste facility)
  • Condition of sealed roads.

Mackay Regional Council outperformed average comparable Queensland councils in the delivery of five services:

  • Kerbside wheelie bin collection (recycling and general waste)
  • Water supply and quality
  • Operation of art galleries and museums
  • Environmental protection (including revegetation, weed and pest control)
  • Maintenance of stormwater drains.

The only service council underperformed relative to comparable Queensland councils was the delivery of maintenance of sealed roads.

By the numbers

Community Attitude Survey Infographic 2