Customer story: Mitchell Shire Council, AU

Budget Simulator
'screenshot of 'Mitchell Shire Council, AU
'screenshot of 'Mitchell Shire Council, AU

A growing population

Mitchell Shire in Victoria, Australia, is one of the area’s fastest-growing shires, with a population that has expanded to 55,000 and continues to grow. This has provided the shire’s Council with both challenges and opportunities: creating and upgrading infrastructure has and will continue to boost the area’s economic prospects, but the council has a limited budget to spend on accommodating its growing number of citizens.

In order to make sure they were heading in the right direction, Mitchell Shire employed Budget Simulator to get an idea of citizens’ priorities when it came to their Capital Works budget. Respondents move sliders left and right to increase or decrease the amount of money they would allocate to a certain service. Each move of a slider provides respondents with information on what the consequences would be if that allocation was made in real life, so citizens get a meaningful insight into the trade-offs that an organisation needs to make when it comes to complex decisions like budgeting.

Getting priorities sorted

Mitchell Shire residents were able to tell the council where their priorities lay when it came to budgeting for things like roads and road safety, sports and recreation, and parks and playgrounds. Over 200 people responded, and their feedback informed the way the council allocated the Capital Works budget across the different subject areas and projects.

Mitchell Shire clearly greatly value their citizens’ input, and Simulator helped them gather insights that were hugely helpful in creating their draft budget. What’s more - the engagement was so successful, they decided to run it again for the next budget cycle. Here’s to many more!

Guide: how to engage citizens on budget priorities using Budget Simulator.

Our community has assisted greatly in setting our Budget. We had a great result [from the budget simulator] and the information has been used by Council when drafting the Budget and Strategic Resource Plan to ensure the Council was prioritising with community expectations.

Cr David Lowe, Mayor

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