Survey shows many people are happy with local government
ALMOST two-thirds of voters are satisfied with their local council as they prepare to cast their vote in the upcoming March 28 quadrennial elections, new research shows.
A survey conducted for the Local Government Association of Queensland by international research firm Colmar Brunton has found satisfaction rose state wide in the eight months from April to December with more than 60 per cent of Queenslanders indicating they were happy with their council.
That included dramatic increases in rural and remote parts of the state.
How satisfied are you with local government?
This poll ended on 25 January 2020.
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Satisfaction rose from 38 per cent in April to 52 per cent in rural and remote Queensland while in the southeast it jumped from 60 per cent in April to 64 per cent in December.
"At an overarching level, the key drivers of community satisfaction towards Local Councils is driven by: a focus on infrastructure and economic development of their regions; trust in Local Council to work hard and do the right thing for their communities; and, a perception that Local Council is transparent and getting on with the job," Colmar Brunton's findings state.
The findings also showed Queenslanders found councils far more trustworthy than the Federal and State governments.
Voters also believed the State and Federal governments were much more likely to waste money and charge unfair taxes than their local council.
"Over one quarter (27%) of Queenslanders perceive that Local Council doesn't let party politics get in the way of good service; while just 9% of Queenslanders hold this perception for State Government and 8% for Federal Government," Colmar Brunton's findings state.
LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam said overall, voter satisfaction with Queensland's 77 councils had jumped by almost 10 points since 2018, up from 55 per cent to 62 per cent state wide.
"Local Government remains by far and away the most trusted level of government in Australia, with councils significantly outperforming the State and Federal governments on 20 of 21 key performance indices, sometimes by a factor of two or three times the other levels of government," he said.
"That is little surprise given councils are the level of government closest to the community, delivering more than 280 services for their constituents and working on the front line during natural disasters."
Mr Hallam said the survey had proven in the past to be a reliable guide to the final council election results.
"It looks like a normal election based on the survey results, with an increasing number of Queenslanders happy with the direction, style and performance of their council," he said.
The detailed survey engaged with 457 Queenslanders in the southeast as well as 252 in coastal regions, 102 in Resource Communities and 100 residents of rural or remote parts of the state.
Bundaberg Regional Council has responded to the news of the survey.
CEO Steve Johnston said the results were eoncuraging, but it was difficult to interpret state-wide data locally.
"Council conducted its own community satisfaction survey last year which involved 1151 people participating by phone and online," Mr Johnston told the NewsMail.
"We consider this to be a reliable sample size and the results to be more meaningful."