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Community Survey Results 2021

One important task for the new Council is to review the Blayney Shire Community Strategic Plan.

In preparation for the review of the Community Strategic Plan and Resourcing Strategy, Council sought feedback about the services we deliver to the Shire. The diversity and range of Council services affects everyone in the community in some way, and we were interested to know what is important for residents and their families. What makes Blayney Shire Council an attractive place for people who live and work in the shire, business and industry?

We asked what services are important and how well are they being delivered at that point in time. Are we delivering Council services to meet expectations? Is the community happy with the condition of our roads, bridges, parks and gardens? Have we improved in communicating and responding to enquiries whilst delivering Council services to residents and the community?

Council launched an online questionnaire for the month of September 2021, and received 379 completed survey’s which have now been summarised with some key recommendations made after each section.

Business/Community Support Summary

The overwhelming comments provided by respondents offered thanks, acknowledgment of improved infrastructure and excellent customer service. Council is appreciated for the support given to the community and hard work in both maintaining and improving the region's facilities and lifestyle opportunities.

In regards to community engagement and support most residents feel that Council is supportive and interactions are positive. Respondents were satisfied with the support of volunteer groups, businesses and town/village associations.

The Village Community Plan’s review in 21/22 is timely to refresh the priorities of each of the Villages, social, environmental, community and economic development aspirations. The Blayney and Villages’ objectives will provide valuable material for the Blayney Shire Community Strategic Plan 2022-2032.

Community events are very important for the villages and surrounding rural areas; and Council support of volunteer groups to facilitate events is essential.

Many residents do not engage with Development Coordinators or know what they are, with community groups upskilled enough to be preparing their own funding applications with improved awareness of grants availability and access compared to a few years ago.

There were mixed responses in regards to disability inclusion and a lack of awareness of how Council and other agencies include and support people with disabilities.

Heritage preservation is confusing to some, and public awareness of the benefits of conserving built heritage and potential solutions with Council playing a facilitating role would be of assistance.

The Blayney Abattoir site is a hazard that needs some oversight and direction to facilitate remediation and potential use for an appropriate business.

Key Recommendations

  1. That Council not continue with the Development Coordinator Program, returning these funds to the Village Enhancement Program for local community infrastructure improvements and village projects.
  2. Council reviews the role of the Heritage Advisor and support information sharing of building preservation, restoration and refurbishment works.
  3. Provide opportunities for community and stakeholder engagement into strategic plans such as the Blayney and Millthorpe Mainstreet Masterplans, Disability Inclusion Action Plan, Active Movement Strategy, Sport and Recreation Masterplan Review and the Regional Destination Management Plan.
  4. That Council continue to support the Blayney Shire Interagency and sharing of resources, networking and distribution of information amongst support services to ensure people don’t fall through the gaps.
  5. The farming and business support, training and education services provided Local Land Services, Department of Agriculture, BizHQ, Regional Development Australia, Orange 360 and other networks are communicated via information sessions, website, social media and Town/Village Association networks.

Media, Communication and Council Engagement Summary

In regards to communication, there was a mixed response from the community in each area.
Council does well with engaging community groups and committees however could increase the amount of consultation opportunities and ensure there are out of business hours options.

There was positive feedback in regards to response times with communicating with Council and the good engagement with staff however the outcomes of some customer requests were overall considered poor.

There are residents who feel that there isn’t not enough communication or awareness of planning matters or developments and find response times slow for their development applications, as Australia Post can take sometimes 2 weeks for mail to be received.

It was pointed out that that annual rates newsletter does not reach all residents, particularly those who are in rental properties.

Social media was one of the top channels of preferred communication followed by email and newspaper. It was suggested that Council could have a stronger presence on social media and ensure Council are monitoring Facebook groups. The community feels that not enough information is communicated to the general population in regards to both major projects and general services and activities.

Key Recommendations

  1. A focussed community engagement strategy with the villages, stakeholders and shire residents should be considered for each project, change of service or matter that Council is seeking feedback to ensure creditable and transparent consultation process; including after-hours, online, recorded options for community engagement for major projects, significant issues and those activities where Council is seeking to gather feedback.
  2. When reviewing the Community Participation Plan, review the use of Australia Post as the primary method of notified and advertised development with potential for social media, email or hand delivery of notifying property owners and stakeholders of development applications.
  3. Ensure regular social media posts for Council activities e.g. when the business paper is available, Council live streams, GM conversation, documents on exhibition and project updates utilising the new ‘Current Projects’ page of the website.
  4. Ensure the annual rates newsletter is available to all residents, including tenants and is promoted via other channels such as Facebook and on Council’s Website.
  5. Investigate an online or self help tool whereby residents can make an enquiry as to their Rates outstanding
  6. Increase Facebook paid ad promotions for key topics, to increase the reach on social media to a broader audience.
  7. Promote the Council Connect E-Newsletter and create a campaign to increase the audience size

Footpaths, Playgrounds and Recreational Areas Summary

The majority of residents are satisfied with the cleanliness, opening hours and accessibility of the public toilets in the Shire. However, there are some high use toilets and on weekends/public holidays where the cleaning does not keep up with the demand.

Vandalism is a recurring issue in some hot spots at various times of the year.

The Council’s parks, gardens and open spaces all received very positive comments and are a great asset to the Shire, with residents appreciating the facilities and improvements that have been made

Native trees along river banks and in natural areas is supported, with deciduous and large shade tree species preferred for Parks

People value the footpaths being constructed however there are still footpaths with trip hazards and we need to encourage the community to report issues. People noted there are locations where disabled and pram ramp access is challenging. Council has extended many footpaths in the residential zones, and a review of the Shires’ Active Movement Strategy in 21/22 is very important to consider more walking trails, pram ramps and accessible parking.

Playgrounds are viewed by the community as a valuable community asset, and acknowledgement was given to Council's efforts for upgrading many playgrounds and park areas, over 84% of those who responded see playgrounds as a valuable asset to the Shire with a 70% satisfaction rate in relation to share, level of fun, inclusiveness, quantity, and safety.

Ongoing inspection and assessment of the shire’s Children’s Playgrounds, should include an assessment of age appropriateness and diversity of play equipment.

Cemeteries are recognised as special places for many residents who are concerned for the maintenance and impact of rabbits on graves.

In conjunction with stormwater assessments, the extension of kerb and guttering in villages and residential zones is worth investigation.

Key Recommendations

  1. When Council refurbishes Carrington Park toilets and replace Heritage Park toilets, we should consider installation of smart technology to monitor use and cleanliness of our public toilets to better align cleaning regimes to meet the demands and enable remote opening and closing.
  2. Council to continue to monitor the costs of vandalism and engage the community leaders and NSW police to address local issues.
  3. The plans approved for Beaufort Street Park could be staged into Council’s Delivery Program with the commencement of planting of trees, then installation and connection to the Blayney shared pathway network
  4. Council to continue engaging with those residents and streets who are supporting of the street tree planting
  5. Council to capitise on our larger parks and open spaces, planting large deciduous park trees, improving infrastructure that will enhance facilities, provide for safe multiuse and stimulate social and community events
  6. Review the Sport and Recreation Masterplan in 2022/2023 to progress the development and improvement of our sporting and recreational facilities to host regional and state competition and events.
  7. Complete the Blayney and Millthorpe Masterplans and plan for the staged implementation of projects via grant or Council funding.
  8. Complete the review of the Active Movement Strategy and focus on ensuring wheelchair pram ramps and footpaths have good connectivity.
  9. Council completes another audit of playgrounds to ensure that they are inclusive and age to plan for new upgrades and increases awareness of the facilities, communicate with the residents the playground facilities and accessibility for free community use.
  10. A Cemetery Management Plan should be developed and include grave maintenance, planting of trees and shade, and with rabbit season upon us, some baiting and pest controls in place.

Sealed and Unsealed Roads Summary

Increased heavy vehicles are impacting our road network particularly logging trucks on Hobbys Yards Road.

The Carcoar Street project, whilst receiving positive feedback now at the time of the survey had received a mixed response, most likely are result of the break from the worksite due to the project being delivered in two stages. Council should remember this experience and the need to communicate with residents and stakeholders repeatedly to reaffirm a project’s status and timeframe to completion in a coordinated manner.

The community appreciates Council's efforts during extended periods of wet and cold weather, however Council resources are stretched therefore pothole and patching works are not meeting the demand.

Pothole patching can leave loose stones which may present as a hazard to road users especially motorcyclists.

Whilst 45% of respondents were satisfied with road safety, intersections and line marking on some sealed roads, there are still of concern to motorists, with some roads lacking or having poor line marking, or other delineation.

The Shire has two state roads (Mid-Western Highway and Orange Road) that interact with our local road network where there is potential increased traffic conflict.

Council’s roadside vegetation clearing has met with community concern over the past few years, particularly when completed as a project.

The condition of Council’s road network, gravel and sealed roads has been significantly impacted by the wet winter and spring of 2021, with drainage issues and potholes exacerbated on some routes by logging trucks. More investment and communication of additional resheeting and heavy patching works planned for 2021/22 is recommended.

The traffic safety concerns range from vehicles travelling at high speeds on country roads to trucks parking too close to crossroad junctions in residential areas. Council’s Road Safety Officer should be tasked with providing safer driving messages for the community which could be supported by NSW Police campaigns.

In general residents have indifferent responses in regards to unsealed roads with most people aware they are impacted by wet weather. However, when impacted by wet weather issues arise including potholes, corrugations, dust, water pooling, lack of drainage which the community are dissatisfied with. For some people, including those bus operators, or residents whose primary access for work, education, transport of goods and primary production is an unsealed road and ongoing repair needed on these roads is not satisfactory.

An assessment of habitat needs to be undertaken prior to updating of Councils’ Roadside Vegetation Guidelines.

Key Recommendations

  1. It is imperative that pothole patching data continue to be collated and analysed, customer requests actioned so that sections requiring repeated pothole patching are considered for heavy patching, or other works, as required.
  2. Council could investigate new innovative pothole patching methods to reduce loose stones and repeated repairs.
  3. A separate budget allocation be prepared to facilitate repainting of lines, installation of guide posts and other road delineation methods for improved safety outcomes.
  4. The completion of the Shire Roads Strategic Plan will ensure that reconstruction and new sealing works are prioritised with projects identified for Council or grant funding having had cost benefit analysis and Council approval
  5. We need to continue to work with TfNSW to advocate for the ongoing improvement to the State roads within the Shire, particularly those impacted by heavy vehicles.
  6. Council will review the Roadside Vegetation Management Plan to satisfy itself that the high environmental value vegetation is protected, road safety outcomes maintained and any clearing is undertaken following agreed principles and guidelines.
  7. It is important that Council continues to deliver the annual re-sheeting and drainage works program to ensure that gravel roads are rehabilitated

Waste Management and Waste Collection Services Summary

In general Waste Management and Waste Collection Services are appreciated by the community.

Whilst 69% of respondents viewed Village Recycling Stations as a valuable service, 31% were either neutral or did not value the service at all. At times they are overflowing, contaminated and even suggested unnecessary

The Waste Collection service rated highest of Council’s Waste Services, with 88% of respondents considering the current Red Bin weekly waste and Yellow Bin fortnightly recycling collection roadside service as a valuable service.

63% of respondents were in favour of a new Green Bin or Organic Waste collection service, voicing strong support and making suggestions for alternating the Yellow Bin Recycling Service. It is recommended that a new Green Bin addition/option be included in 2025, prior to the new Waste Collection Contract is sought by Netwaste member Councils.

Councils Public Bins are considered an essential service with 89% of respondents rating them as valuable. Monitoring is recommended however, as at times weekly collection is not meeting the usage and additional servicing and cleaning may be required.

The Waste Management Facility is deemed highly valuable, rated the second most important in terms or waste services provided by Council to the shire.

Consistency of fees is the primary concern and facility services, charges, Recycle and Go, opening times and Tip Shop details could be more regularly promoted with improved communication, website and accessible information.

The community are very supporting of recycling and reducing waste, and Council should continue to investigate and advocate for a Return and Earn Facility in Blayney.

The annual Bulky Waste Collection service was considered by 82% of respondents as a valuable service, with many viewing as critical for transport disadvantaged residents, and the reason why illegal dumping is minimised.

Waste Services in general need regular reminders about the Waste Management Facility, and opportunities for people to recycle with Recycle and Go.

The route and days of service of the Streetsweeper needs to be reviewed in line with waste collection days and need.

Key Recommendations

  1. As new areas develop, roads sealed or demand exists; the roadside collection routes could be reviewed to identify new collection areas, in particular, Kings Plains and Village Road is one locality where demand exists.
  2. Council investigate providing a Voucher with the Annual Rates Notice for 1 or 2 free Waste Facility visits or access to special disposal periods such as Chemical Drums, Paints or combustible household materials.
  3. It is recommended that an investigation of the Village Recycling Stations be undertaken to assess the utilisation, cost and contamination occurrence, in preparation of the 22/26 Delivery Program.
  4. Council investigate and advocate for a Return and Earn Facility in Blayney.
  5. Implement Smart technology use to monitor and better service Public Bins to meet use and demand.
  6. A new Green Bin addition/option be included in 2025, prior to the new Waste Collection Contract is sought by Netwaste member Councils.
  7. The Streetsweeper Service be reviewed, aligned to be different to rubbish collection days in each location and an assessment be undertaken of levels of service to ensure is meeting need.

Appendix 1: Weighted Average Value of Council Services

The following list of Council services is in order of weighted averages from the responses given to the value placed on the following services delivered in the Shire.


Weighted Average



Sealed Roads


Public Toilets


CentrePoint Sport and Leisure Centre




Sporting Ovals


Community Events




Campgrounds (Carcoar Dam, Junction Reefs, Lyndhurst etc.)


Blayney Shire Community Centre




Tennis/Multipurpose Courts


Visitor Information Centre


Blayney Library


Skate Parks


Netball Courts


Unsealed Roads




Last modified: 08 Feb 2022