Community survey tells all

THE results from the 2014 Community Survey covering the Shellharbour local government area have been released. 

The findings from the annual Illawarra Regional Information Service (IRIS) survey were due to be discussed by councillors at last night’s Shellharbour City Council meeting.  

A total of 503 residents were selected at random for a telephone interview. 

Respondents were asked to rate each matter  on a scale of 1-5 – one being not at all satisfied and five being highly satisfied. The overall mean satisfaction score was down to 3.44, compared to the 2012 IRIS survey, which was 3.60.  

This is  below the IRIS benchmark of 3.64. 

Just under half of residents, 48.7per cent, said they were satisfied with the  council’s overall performance in the delivery of services and facilities. 

At the top of the list of what residents considered “major issues of today” were the City Hub proposal at 13per cent, followed by youth unemployment services at 10.7per cent.

Major issues of concern over the next 10 to 15 years were population growth, planning and over-population, with an overall score of 15.5per cent and the provision and maintenance of infrastructure with 10.3per cent.   

Of those surveyed, 74per cent  rated their experience with council staff  at either four or five. 

The overall satisfaction with staff was 3.99, which was consistent with previous results of 3.89. 

Councillors received a higher satisfaction rating than previous years, with 51per cent of respondents confirming that councillors had a “definitely responsive” manner. 

More than 82per cent of respondents agreed that the council should encourage business opportunities in the area, resulting in a high mean of 4.34. Recycling and collection services were up from 2012 (3.91) to 3.97, as well as kerbside garbage collection services, which was 3.73. 

Other matters that showed improvements in satisfaction ratings included standard of facilities and services and public swimming pools (3.71), community events and activities (3.69), health and human support (3.57), graffiti prevention and removal (3.38) and economic development (3.31).

Waste and depot collection was down to 2.97 in comparison to 2012 which was 3.12. 

Construction and maintenance of local roads, footpaths and kerbing was down to 2.95 from 3.11 in 2012. 

Other matters that registered declines in satisfaction ratings were maintenance in cycle ways (3.25), street cleaning (3.48), enforcement by laws (3.25), traffic management and parking facilities (3.25) and footpath maintenance (3.21).

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