In 2020 we adopted a new Community Engagement Policy. The policy guides the ways we involve the Merri-bek community in Council decisions that impact and interest them. It explains our commitment to public participation including when, who and how we will engage on different matters.

Following an internal review in 2021, we have made some minor amendments to the policy to increase it's effectiveness and give Council officers more clarity around how to implement to the community engagement principles of the Local Government Act 2020.

What's changed?

The following minor amendments have been made to the Community Engagement Policy:

The public exhibition period is a final stage of engagement and is intended as a check in with the community to demonstrate how we have incorporated people’s feedback from earlier stages of engagement.

In 2021, Council endorsed a recommendation to maintain a minimum 10-business days public exhibition period as a final stage of engagement on policies, strategies and plans.

After careful consideration through 2022, we made the decision to extend the public exhibition period to 15-business days. This will allow more weekend time for community members to provide feedback and recognises that sometimes community members may miss the first rounds of engagement due to the volume of information and activities in people’s lives.

This is considered a best-practice approach to community engagement, where the level of influence the community can have over a decision is higher in the first stages of engagement than it is at the final stage of public exhibition.

Through internal engagement with Officers who design and deliver community engagement, we found that there needed to be more clarity around how to give effect to the community engagement principles contained within the Local Government Act 2020.

The principles have been included in Appendix 2 of the Policy, along with some guidance for Council officers on how to include them in their engagement planning and delivery.

How to provide your feedback

The community is invited to review the revised Policy and provide any feedback using the submission form below.

You will need to register for a Conversations Merri-bek account in order to make a submission. This is to protect the integrity and fairness of the consultation. Your personal details will not be used for any other purpose. Instructions on how to register or log in are listed below.

Alternatively, you can email your submission to

Submissions close 11:59pm, Monday 27 February 2023.

1. Find the "LOG IN/JOIN" button at the top of the page and click to start registering.

2. Select "LOG IN" if you already have a profile on Conversations Merri-bek OR select "SIGN UP" to create a new profile

3. To create your profile you will need to add: Screen name, email address, password, full name and postcode. Check the boxes that apply and click "CREATE ACCOUNT"

4. Now you can make your submission