Engaging with Our Community

Engaging our Community.jpg

What is community engagement?

The International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) defines Community Engagement as follows:

“an intentional process with the purpose of working in inclusive and respectful ways to shape decisions, actions, impacts or change”.

The IAP2 guides the practice of community engagement. It is the peak body for ideal community engagement standards globally.

Local government conducts community engagement for a variety of reasons:

  • When required by legislation.

  • When Council wishes to seek the community's views on a particular issue. Eg. matters such as the introduction of, or changes to facilities, services, or policies.

  • The input received from the community supports Council in its decision-making.

Community engagement is a fluid process and will continue to develop over time. Council will strive to refine its community engagement practices. The community’s input will guide the decision-making process where appropriate and required.


Council's commitment to community engagement

Council’s community engagement aligns with the IAP2’s Core Values. It also utilises the IAP2's Community Engagement Spectrum. 

Council has developed a suite of community engagement documents. They guide our engagement practices, helping keep our engagement efficient, effective and consistent.

Community Engagement Policy

The Community Engagement Policy provides a framework of the responsibilities and requirement for Council regarding community engagement. It ensures consistency in community engagement across the organisation.

Click here to download the Community Engagement Policy(PDF, 149KB)

Community Engagement Strategy

The Local Government Act 1993 requires Councils to establish and implement a strategy called its 'Community Engagement Strategy' for engagement with the local community when developing its plans, policies and programs, as well as for the purpose of determining its activities (other than routine administrative matters). The strategy provides the information necessary for carrying out community engagement activities.

Community Participation Plan (CPP)

The CPP outlines when and how the community can expect to participate in planning matters that affect them.

It applies to plan making and development assessment matters within the Shire, including applications and proposal that need to be assessed and determined by Council as well as planning matters within the Shire that need to be assessed and determined by local or regional planning panels.


Our Approach to Engaging with the Community

What is Have Your Say?

The Hills Shire Council encourages active participation from our community. Especially in projects that impact their lives. Have Your Say is Council's online community engagement platform.

What Projects can include Community Consultation?

Council welcomes the community to have their say on projects such as:

  • Road and building projects
  • Drafts/revisions of Council documents
  • Policies and strategic planning documents
  • Projects related to community facilities


Our Methods

Hills Have Your Say

Our primary community engagement platform is Hills Have Your Say. It designed to capture the views of the community on a matter in the most effective and efficient ways using a range of tools. Analytical information on participants captured via the Hills Have Your Say's platform allows Council to obtain a better understanding of its community and to further improve on ways of communicating and engaging.

In addition to this platform, Council's community engagement will vary depending on the complexity, level of impact and level of interest in a matter. The Community Engagement Toolkit has been developed to assist project managers and their teams in carrying out appropriate community engagement methods relevant to their projects.

View Previous Exhibitions (2020 - Feb 2024)

Previous exhibitions (2013 - 2020) can be viewed in the Exhibition Archive.


Hills Have Your Say e-Newsletter

Our Hills Have Your Say e-Newsletter keeps the community informed on current and future consultations.

To subscribe to the Hills Have Your Say e-Newlsetter, sign up here.