Our customers: Budget setting in Australia

One of the most important decisions any organisation will make is setting a budget. And, when it's public money being spent, it's crucial to involve the public in that decision. Across Australia, public sector organisations are using Delib tools to engage citizens and stakeholders with their budget setting process – hearing people's priorities for spending and helping them understand the tough decisions at hand.

City of Melbourne

Getting input on a 10-year financial plan

The City of Melbourne were developing a 10-Year Financial Plan for the first time. Naturally, they wanted to make sure the community had opportunity to put forward their views.

The council used Simulator in combination with a representative panel of residents, asking people how they would allocate the $400 million annual budget. Hundreds of people took part, providing valuable qualitative and quantitative data to inform the council's recommendations. The deliberative approach was also educational for participants, showing the public the tough choices a council has to consider in a 10 year plan for a city.

This is a brilliant way to gauge the community reaction and actively consult and facilitate our input into policy outcomes — I hope you will continue to exploit its huge potential in the future!

Participant comment, City of Melbourne Budget Simulator

City of Hume

Responding to community feedback

As part of its annual budget setting process, the City of Hume looked to undertake extensive consultation with the community and stakeholders. Alongside in-person events, including a public exhibition to hear people's feedback, they used Simulator to provide an engaging online response mechanism.

Simulator is an interactive tool that lets anyone try their hand at balancing the books. Hume citizens were asked to explore and consider the trade-offs between different combinations of priorities, setting out which areas of spending were important to them. This feedback directly informed the council's deliberations in forming their final budget.

The Council Plan and Budget respond to critical community issues of importance, as identified by the Community Survey results. We thank everyone who took the time to provide their feedback; your input is invaluable.

Budget report, City of Hume Council

Yarra Valley Water

A customer-led price review and submission

As a water corporation, Yarra Valley Water had to make a price submission to the Essential Services Commission. They wanted to demonstrate that they had listened to the concerns and expectations of their customers, so used Simulator to collect feedback online.

Yarra Valley Water used a Bill Simulator model – where participants could adjust spending across different service packages, letting them decide how much they would be happy to pay for the quality of service they want. This deliberative process provided the corporation with valuable insight into their customers' priorities – and also ensured that this input was considered, informed and realistic.

We embarked on one of the most comprehensive customer engagement initiatives the Australian water industry has ever seen. The outcomes have provided a platform to ensure we have a clear understanding of our customers’ needs and expectations.

Price review report, Yarra Valley Water

People choose our platforms to save them time and money, and to boost their engagement.

Get a free demo to find out how you could do the same. We'll walk you through the software in action and answer all your questions.

Delib demos are done over the phone with screen sharing software.

We're happy to present to as many people as you can get on a conference call.

We'll answer your questions and offer any advice we can on your project.

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