Advocating on behalf of the community

Advocacy banner

Our advocacy work is underpinned by the Council Plan 2013-2017 Reviewed June 2015, the Indigo 2030 Report, other Council plans and strategies and community consultation.

This Advocacy Program provides us with a guide to addressing some issues that are beyond the capacity of Council, working alone, to find solutions for. The framework of this plan is designed to allow Council to take advantage of advocacy opportunities that arise throughout the year. These opportunities can be sudden with little or no warning.

The plan is also the basis for prioritising projects and funding bids, especially when new funding programs are being rolled out from the State Government, and as the Federal Election is due in late 2016. This plan comprises the current top 10 priorities.

This Advocacy Plan should be considered in the light of the Budget, Capital Works Program, Communication Strategy and Policy, and implemented with reference to the communication and social media written procedures.

Introduction

Indigo Shire Council is committed to enhancing the quality of life of Shire residents. We do this by providing a wide range of services, stimulating economic growth, enhancing key industry such as agriculture and viticulture, manufacturing, retail and tourism, improving the health of our community and the environment, and building partnerships within the community. Advocacy is just one way Council can work with and on behalf of the community on matters of concern.

Context

Indigo is a small rural shire with limited resources but a rich and enduring history. Indigo has Australia's greatest collection of historic towns, which makes it unique. Our community is made up of enthusiastic and motivated residents with high expectations. This plan outlines ways to influence key decision-makers about funding, infrastructure, and services to make better decisions sooner for the benefit of the Indigo community.

Advocacy involves Council lobbying other levels of government, various agencies, regional organisations and interest groups on issues of importance to our people so the voice of the community can be heard at other levels and in other places.

Advocacy can involve a range of methods including making effective submissions, direct lobbying of decision makers such as politicians and state and regional departmental directors, deputations to people of influence, inviting key people to visit the Shire for first-hand experience, consultation, public media campaigns and appropriate use of Social Media. Under the Local Government Act 1989, Council can advocate for its community but advocacy work must not be politically partisan in nature. (The Act sets out clear references to Advocacy under the role and functions of Councils: 3D. (2) (d) advocating the interests of the local community to other communities and governments; and 3E. (1) (a) advocating and promoting proposals which are in the best interests of the local community.)

We will conduct our Advocacy Program in three ways. We will:

  1. Identify an issue, often through community consultation, or our Council Plan
  2. Research the issue, gathering relevant facts and data to support our position
  3. Build partnerships, plan activities to lobby relevant people, and put these in motion.

We will report progress of our Advocacy Program quarterly to Council and externally to our community.

Last updated: 01 September 2015