Almost 600 residents have taken part in the Community Development Strategy survey to allow Council to gain a clear understanding of community and advocacy priorities.
The survey results will help shape the future direction of community development in the Bundaberg Region and provide a basis through which Council can advocate to other levels of government.
Bundaberg Regional Council’s Community Development Strategy survey, which ran for five weeks in August/September, sought feedback from residents on the next four years of community development in the Bundaberg Region.
Council ran the survey online and held numerous in-person community meetings to engage as wide a sample of the region’s population as possible, resulting in a strong community response.
While the survey findings are still being analysed, an initial snapshot of the responses has provided an interesting picture of the demographics of respondents and emerging themes for investigation.
A majority of respondents felt the community was inclusive of people with disability, culturally and linguistically diverse people, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.
Around 71% of all respondents felt they had sufficient social connections, including around half of respondents who had perceived their wellbeing as poor or very poor.
However more than half of respondents were not aware of emergency relief options, and over a third did not know how to access emergency or low-cost groceries.
The top five barriers or challenges perceived by survey respondents were youth boredom and behaviour, transport, mental health issues, crime, and homelessness.
While these do not relate to areas of responsibility for Local Government, Community Services portfolio spokesperson Councillor Tracey McPhee said the results showed opportunities for Council to advocate and prioritise to enhance wellbeing within the community.
“While the highlighted barriers are clearly within State Government responsibility, Council is committed to working with all levels of government, private industry and residents to improve the liveability of the region and to help build an inclusive and engaged community,” Cr McPhee said.
“It is encouraging to see a strong level of community engagement in the survey and the community’s passion to improve our region.
“The results give us clear avenues for further advocacy and support by Council to improve residents’ sense of connection and enjoyment.”
A total of 570 responses were received, representing a solid cross-section of the community in terms of age and geographic location.
Over half of the respondents were from outside central Bundaberg suburbs, with 22.1% having lived in the region for less than 5 years, and approximately 64% being residents for over 10 years.
All age groups were represented, with 17.6% of respondents under age 18, and 21.2% over age 65, with a good spread of representation in the aged groups in between.
Over 36% of respondents were employed full-time, while 21.6% were retired.
First Nations community members represented 11.4% of respondents, and 5.8% of respondents had English as a second language.
Find out more about the Community Development Strategy 2024-2028 and how to stay informed on project updates here.