Listening to the community
In late 2021, City of Parramatta ran a 5-week consultation on the Community Strategic Plan to ensure that this key document still reflects the community’s long-term aspirations for our city, and to understand the key delivery priorities for the next four (4) years.
Council used a variety of methods and channels to promote the consultation, including multiple social media campaigns, as well as large scale email distributions lists. Over 150,000 people were presented with the opportunity to have their say on this project!
Feedback on the goals
Overall, participants support each of the six (6) goals and the associated strategies. Click on the dots below for an overview of comments or scroll down to explore more about what we heard for each goal.
For the 23% of respondents that did not agree with the long-term strategies (10-20 years) being proposed to achieve a FAIR city, key themes included lack of trust and accountability of Council, the Parramatta Pool, perpetual growth being unsustainable and impacting affordable housing, disparity of funding distribution across wards, and environmental sustainability.
What does a FAIR Parramatta look like to you?
Comments received focused on affordable living, equitable access to services, and transparency in decision making regarding the community and development.
Overall feedback indicates the want for Parramatta to be a place of equal opportunity, where all can access education, health, housing, and services, and live a healthy and fulfilling life.
One respondent did not agree with the long-term strategies (10-20 years) being proposed to achieve a GREEN city, with a belief that some of the actions were ‘philosophical’ and outside of Council’s remit.
What does a GREEN Parramatta look like to you?
Comments received focused on renewable energy, green spaces, and a clean city.
Overall, the community wants the city to become more sustainable, and for it to become easier to live a “greener” life in through greater access to solar panels, waste recycling opportunities, and charging points for electric vehicles.
The community is aware of the impacts of urban heat and would like an increase in tree density and promotion of light-coloured roads and roof tiles. The river is also a key part of the city that the community wants further investment in, especially in improving its cleanliness.
For the 22% of respondents that did not agree with the long-term strategies (10-20 years) being proposed to achieve an ACCESSIBLE city, key themes included lack of bicycle infrastructure and walkways, traffic congestion issues, parking issues and public transport issues.
What does an ACCESSIBLE Parramatta look like to you?
Comments received focused on public transport, roads infrastructure, parking, and disability access.
The community wants the future city to be one where everyone can get to where they need to go, recognising that different modes of transport are required depending on an individual’s needs.
Furthermore, public transport needs to be accessible for all, with appropriate infrastructure in place to safely navigate the city via active transport, and an increase in accessible parking.
Two respondents did not agree with the long-term strategies (10-20 years) being proposed to achieve a WELCOMING city, with one finding the actions offensive, while another recommended that the strategies be listed under ‘diversity, inclusion and patching mistakes’.
What does a WELCOMING Parramatta look like to you?
Comments received focused on acknowledgement and celebration through education and events of First Nations’ history and culture, as well as the diverse communities that make up Parramatta.
There were suggestions to utilise historical buildings as museums, including a First Nations museum, and provide signage in alternative languages to English.
One respondent did not agree with the long-term strategies (10-20 years) being proposed to achieve a THRIVING city, suggesting that the proposed strategies will lead to power supply problems, an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and create more heat islands.
What does a THRIVING Parramatta look like to you?
Comments received focused on support for local employment and businesses, accessibility to the city to make it a destination to visit easily, as well as greater emphasis on public transport and availability of parking. Suggestions were made to have more focus on the smaller businesses away from major shopping centres, and for development of other parts of the local government area away from the CBD.
For the 17% of respondents that did not agree with the long-term strategies (10-20 years) being proposed to achieve an INNOVATIVE city, most suggested that the strategies read like ‘motherhood’ statements, and that more detail was required.
What does an INNOVATIVE Parramatta look like to you?
Comments received described a city that puts innovation at the centre, which encourages green technology such as charging points for electric vehicles, whilst having world-class education and research hubs that are easily connected by ample public transport.
Respondents to the consultation were also asked to list their top three Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) priorities for the next four years. The top themes are presented in no particular order below:
A further round of consultation will be delivered in late February on the new community outcomes that will form part of the updated Community Strategic Plan.
Following this, the final Draft Community Strategic Plan and Delivery Program 2022-2026 and Operational Plan & Budget 2022/23 will be placed on formal public exhibition in April 2022.
Keep an eye out for these opportunities to have your say!