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Wollongong City Council

Agency Information Guide

3. Arrangements for Public Participation in Policy Development and the Exercise of its Functions

3.1 Community Engagement and Participation

Council has a Community Engagement Policy PDF, 10300.79 KB which guides how Council will involve the community in the planning and delivery of community-focused services.

This policy affirms Council’s commitment to involving the community in decision-making processes and outlines a number of engagement activities that Council will support.  Some of the ways we involve the community are described below

We involve the community in the development of the Community Strategic Plan, and the supporting suite of integrated plans including the Resourcing Strategy, Delivery Program and Operational Plan.

There are eight community groups are established across the Wollongong Local Government Area.  These groups meet regularly with support from Council, however several are currently inactive.

For more information, see our Neighbourhood Forums page.

Community Forums are interactive sessions held to consult on specific polices, projects or plans.

The Wollongong Local Planning Panel (WLPP), formerly known as IHAP, was established to provide an independent hearing forum for objectors and applicants on certain applications. The WLPP provides an independent assessment of particular Development Applications and submit recommendations to Council for a decision.

Council has an online community engagement site, Join the Conversation.  It allows the community to be informed and have their say on future projects, draft policies or strategies. There are also other forms of electronic consultation such as online surveys, discussions and through social media platforms.

Public hearings are used for consultation on re-zonings, re-classifications and Plans of Management.

The Public Access Forum provides an opportunity for members of the community to address Council in a formal meeting environment about relevant issues they may have. The Public Access Forum seeks to improve communication between Council and its residents and assist in portraying Council as an open and accessible organisation.

For more information see our Council Meetings page.

Reference group members provide Council management with information, knowledge and advice on their specific area of interest or issue. Group members should also represent the views of the community.

A central focus of the reference groups is to provide input into Council’s Community Strategic Plan and other relevant Council policies.

More information can be found on our Committees and Groups pages.

Community Engagement Stands are held at markets and events. They offer an opportunity for Council and the community to interact out of office hours and out of the office context.

Council provides a weekly Community Update in the Wollongong Advertiser, a free newspaper circulating in the Local Government Area. These advertisements inform the public of community matters such as upcoming Council meetings, public notices, development application approvals, proposals and recruitment opportunities.

See our Community Update Advertisements page for recent notices.

3.2 Representations to Councillors

Councillors have two distinct roles under the Local Government Act 1993: as a member of the governing body of the Council, and as an elected person.

Councillors, as members of the governing body, should work as part of a team to make decisions and policies that guide the activities of the Council. Their role as an elected person requires Councillors to represent the interests of the community and provide leadership.

The community are able to raise issues with their Councillors. The Councillors, if they agree, may be able to pursue the issue on behalf of the community member.

Contact information for the current Councillors can be found on the Your Council Officials page.

3.3 Public Submissions

We will accept submissions on a proposed development or Wollongong City Council’s strategies and policies from all interested parties. All submissions must be made in writing.  If you are objecting to a development proposal, you must clearly state your reasons and if possible, provide positive suggestions that you feel would be appropriate. This can be useful to clarify issues and establish facts.

All submissions in writing, quoting the application number where relevant, should be sent by the specified closing date via email or post to:

The General Manager
Wollongong City Council
Locked Bag 8821

You should read our Privacy page before you make a submission to Council.

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This guide was adopted on 22 September 2010.
Last reviewed August 2023.
Last updated on 10 August 2023.